My Dear Friends,

I once read somewhere that a “Chancer” is someone who goes through a swing door on someone else’s push. I well remember in the run up to Christmas some years ago politely holding open the door of Jenner’s Department store in Princes Street in order to allow a lady to come through. Being an entitled Edinburgh matron, she didn’t acknowledge my gallantry; but I was then stuck holding the door while twenty or thirty more people barged in. There are two kinds of people; those who open doors and those who just go through.

I have also had occasion to wonder philosophically about church notice boards. Someone will carefully bring along a notice and four drawing pins (one for each corner). After a while the board will be festooned with notices all held up higglety pigglety by the same four drawing pins! Again, there are two kinds of people; those who buy their own drawing pins and those who use other people’s. 

It can be interesting in church, also, to look at the various memorials affixed to the Sanctuary walls. Read the words of thanksgiving and appreciation. Never have I seen a memorial inscribed: “In memory of Joe Bloggs – who always took the softest cushion and chose the biggest chocolate”. These are Memorials to the Givers; not to the Takers.

It is a fact of life that people cannot all be takers all the time - unless first there are some who are willing (sometimes) to be givers. There are, of course, times in life when we are dependent on the goodness and kindness of others. The very young and the very old; the sick and the infirm need to he looked after and cared for. We all owe a great deal to those who have shown us kindness. It is good, therefore, that we should take the opportunity to do what we can, when we can, to help and support others.

Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Be a Giver!

Liz joins me in sending our love to you all.