Finding the place of your Resurrection

In the mindset of the early Celtic saints, one of the aims was to journey until you found the ‘place of your resurrection.’ The idea is that there is a place that God is calling you to – a place where you worship, work, and pray until the day Christ comes to take you home! The place from which you enter Glory! Whilst the Celts had other reasons to wander for the love of Christ, they were ultimately on a search for this place.

The place could be a place, a task, a cause, or any number of things, but often tied up with a real place. Place has a rather Hebraic resonance in the hearts of the Celtic saints – places were significant, and some were described as ‘thin places’, where the veil between heaven and earth was so thin that the God-connection was stronger. You know, like putting your 4G router at the window rather than in darkest recess of the house behind all the walls and barriers.

Whilst I am realistic enough to know that things change and circumstances intervene, my heart resounds with the idea of my ‘place of resurrection’ being here on Arran. You’ll be fed up me telling you that it has such a unique place in my personal and family history, but also recently as God has awakened me to him in a new way through a vision about the landscape of this island.

Back in the early 2000s, I came across a Scots Gaelic word that I immediately adopted as an alternative name that I use as a username on things and on my personal email. It’s the word ‘turasaiche’. You may have noticed it if you know me well. The word means a variety of things: pilgrim, vagabond, wanderer, traveller…and maybe even ‘tramp.’ Since leaving Scotland in the early 2000s, that’s what its felt like to be me!

My prayer vision of Arran back in May 2021 which kickstarted the remarkable chain of events which have brought us here started with me laying in an open grave under stormy skies in Irvine, where I was first born, and then being lifted out over stormy seas to the shore at Sannox before ascending the glen. It was a death and resurrection experience, even if only in a waking vision. Out of the grave and carried to a place where I received a new name and a new call.

Tonight I stood in the cemetery behind my Arran home beside the graves of my great-grandparents, 2x-great-grandparents and 3x-greatgrandparents. There’s still some space in the ground just a little down the hill. I’d happily live, work, pray and die here until Christ comes again. I’ve never been able to say that about any place before. I’m tentative but hopeful! There’s a work to do here and I’m willing and undaunted.

By the grave of my great-great-great-grandfather and mother next to our Arran homewaiting for Glory?!

What or where is your own ‘place of resurrection’? It’s worth going on the journey to find it!

Arran Arrivals

It is wonderful to be here in Arran. It hasn’t quite registered fully that we’re not just here on a short break or holiday. The last year has meant several trips back and forward visiting Sannox Christian Centre and also Arran Baptist Church who, between them, will have a good chunk of my time in this new season of ministry. I’ve begun to get an insight on what’s happening at Sannox, and my induction to the Baptist Church ministry on the island is later in the month. Quite nice not preaching every week at the moment!

Since arriving, some wonderful news has encouraged us no end with regards accommodation. And, whilst our removal company are a bit on the busy side to enable them to deliver our possessions to us on the island, we hope to be in and settled into our new place by the end of August.

We do have some very interesting (but friendly!) neighbours in our new home. We will be living in a house by Kilbride cemetery in Lamlash. Less than 200/300 yards away from the front door are the resting places of my great-grandparents, my great-great grandparents and several other family members. Just down the hill and along is the parish church where my grandparents were married, and behind that, the home where my gran’s 14 brothers and sisters were brought up. Round the corner from there, the birthplace cottage of my great-grandfather. The roots are quite literally in the soil here and I feel quite at home. There are, of course, living family members on the island and hopefully we’ll catch up with them before too long.

There will be, in time, lots of of things to say and updates to bring. Needless to say, life and ministry will be very different here in this unique situation. I already know something of the challenges that we’ll face, but beginning to dream with others what opportunities we can create to serve this ‘island parish.’

An Arran Blessing:

“Bless, O Lord, the thing on which my eye doth rest.
Bless, O Lord, the thing on which my hope doth rest.
Bless, O Lord, my reason and my purpose.
Bless, O bless through them, O Lord of life.

Now Bless, O Lord, the Isle of Arran
And bless thy people here before thee.
And make they face to shine upon us,
And bring us closer, Lord, to Thee.”