Slide 1


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Pastoral Letter

April 2017


For me, it would be driving around Italy on a Vespa. Or attending the Opera and listening to Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni adapted from a play and short story by Giovanni Verga. For you perhaps skydiving, swimming with sharks, riding in a hot-air balloon, walking on coals, or on the top part of a suspension bridge.

What would be in your ‘bucket list’?

I was reading the web site ‘’ and in their long list I realised that I had completed a few of their suggestions. Number 160 was ‘Be an extra in a movie’ – done that! Embarrassingly, Number 206 I’ve also done, ‘Posed with a figure in a wax museum’!! Haven’t we all???

See a foreign film? Easy. Sing Karaoke? Yes, in a Curry House and Pam’s done a few as well. She’s had lessons at a Falconry and taken part in a Flash Mob at a wedding!!

A bucket list.

Interpreted one way: fun things you would like to do. More seriously, things you’d like to do before you meet your Maker. Like the film ‘The Bucket List’ starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off with a wish list of to-do’s. They go sky-diving together, fly over the North Pole, visit the Taj Mahal, ride motorcycles on the Great Wall of China and attend a lion safari in Tanzania.

In John’s Gospel Jesus meets a woman outside the town of Sychar at the well. He is tired and sits down on the rim and then he asks the Samaritan for a drink and she replies “Sir, you haven’t got a bucket and the well is deep.”

Jesus doesn’t have a bucket, she notices... but he does.

He has a list of things he wants to achieve. He has a to-do list with the woman, the disciples and ourselves. He wants to show the lengths we should go to reach one person; the conversational way we should express our faith and witness; a model for breaking down cultural, religious and social barriers and a reminder (with the number of husbands she has had) that no one is perfect and God forgives you many times.

She thirsts. We thirst.

‘Bucket lists’ can be fun. Life should be an adventure. We should live life to the full, see the world, challenge ourselves to the max but when we thirst, crave and desire these things, we know they won’t last. It’s a high. It’s a rush of adrenalin. It’s a hunger that won’t be satisfied. We are content for a moment and then seek to be filled once more. Our thirst is endless until we drink from the living water.

Where the phrase ‘bucket list’ comes from is debatable. We are in Lent still, almost at Holy Week and some would suggest that the origin to the words ‘bucket list’ is to do with a ‘beam’ relating to execution. Jesus heads to Jerusalem and we will discover once more that as a ‘beam’, as timber, as a joist, Jesus always has had a bucket, and a wish list to the save the world.

‘Sir you haven’t got a bucket and the well is deep.’

Jesus is more than aware of the depths he has to fall but through his death comes resurrection and his number 1, to save the world.

That’s what Holy Week and Easter is about.

If only we would drink and quench our thirst.

Every blessing this Easter time, 

Your friend and Minister

George Mackay