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Rev. Robin McAlpine

Updated: 12 Apr 2022


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Weekly Thoughts

Robin has written, compiled, read and presented some thoughts for various days during the week. These now appear at key times of the year.

The latest thoughts are at the top of the page or you can scroll down to read earlier entries.



Reflection for the Thursday of Holy week (Tuesday 12th April)

Ian Campbell’s painting for St Georges Tron Glasgow, is one of my favourite images of the Last Supper. (Personally, I might have added a woman or two, even if only in the background, as I am sure a Passover meal could not be cooked, served, and cleared away without them!)


Ian Campbell’s painting for St Georges Tron Glasgow

I like setting the Last Supper in an everyday, modern setting, with ordinary people. And it set me wondering. It might seem odd, maybe a step too far for some, but eating in McDonald’s sometimes reminds me of a kind of Communion of sorts…

Everyone is given the same- money or position cannot buy you a different, or better burger. There are no entry requirements to eat there, or dress code -all are welcome. Whether you are alone, with friends or family...whether you are a child or pensioner -there is room for you. If you eat in, you are sitting beside people you probably don’t know - but everyone gets along.

Then there is the Happy Meal concept. People are happy to eat there, happy to be there. And the tag “I’m lovin’ it!” suggests a little bit more than happiness, a kind of warmth of feeling, that everyone can share.

I think it’s also an experience, a moment when for a minute or two, everyone can live the dream, get a glimpse of how life might be if the whole world was equal and happy?
Just a thought for Thursday in Holy Week.

Nancy Gilmartin

Lent Thoughts #6 (Tuesday 12th April)

Lent 6: John 12 v 1-7

Lent 6: John 12 v 1-7

Five days before Passover, Abigail and Miriam meet at the well in Bethany.

Abigail: “Hello, Miriam, come to get more water?”

Miriam: “Well you know my Simon, always washing his hands or his feet and this week of course he expects me to clean the house from top to bottom for Passover. “

A: “Not to mention getting rid of every bit of leaven and washing out all the pots that might have contained any leaven: my Judah is just as fussy…”

M: “I don’t suppose you heard about the carry on at Lazarus’ house last night? You live next door, don’t you?

A: “Well …I’m not one to gossip, as you know, but really this was the final straw. The whole place was in an uproar. That strange guy, Jesus, had come back with all his pals, eating that poor family out of house and home…and there was a crowd gathering outside the house too, hoping for a miracle no doubt.”

M: “Mind you, Lazarus does owe him…I mean he did bring him back from the dead after all. He was definitely dead: I saw him with my own eyes. He’s surprising really that Jesus. I mean nothing good ever came from Nazareth before you know.”

A: “As I was saying…Martha was run off her feet, and that sister of hers would be no help either. Never does a hands turn in the house, so they say. Just sits and dreams all day apparently.”

M: “Martha is a real saint putting up with her. I heard that Mary and that Mary of Magdala were actually planning to join those women that follow Jesus around. Good riddance I’d say if she did go with them. You know who I mean: Susanna, Salome and what’s her name…Joanna. They go everywhere with him. Shameless really. I mean a woman’s place is in the home, kids, and kitchen …or so my Simon says…”

A: “Do you want to know what happened or not? My rooftop looks right into their house, so I saw it all. They’re all eating and drinking, and Martha is serving everyone, when that hussy Mary comes, says not one word, and opens up her jar of nard…

M: “Not the nard only used for burials and weddings! Not the nard that is worth a year’s wages!”

A: “What else? And she starts to pour it on his feet and uses her hair to dry the feet and that Jesus just does and says nothing. It’s as if they were the only people in the room. As if they were the only people in the world. And everyone is watching them, in silence.”

M: “Could you smell the nard? They say it’s so strong you can smell it a mile off…it’s so expensive I’ve never known anyone who had some.”

A: “Of course you could. I can still smell it in my house today! What I’d love to know is where she got the money for it. And funnily enough, it was the cost of it that finally broke the stunned silence. Judas said…”

M: “The good-looking redhead Judas? The boy from Kerioth, Simon Iscariot’s son? He’s always buying and selling in the marketplace. Clever with money I’d say.”

A: “Anyway…Judas said she should have sold it and the money could go to help the poor.”

M: “What did Jesus say to that? He’s always on the side of the poor, to be fair. “

A: “Well first of all, he said Mary was right…and then just as he was about to add to that…Judah came home expecting his evening meal, so I didn’t hear how it ended!”

M: “No! We’ll never find out now. And with Passover this week there won’t be a minute to spare. Everyone’s s too busy going to Jerusalem to the Temple.”

A: “Judah says there’s going to be trouble this week, Passover or not. Pilate is in town and the Romans are never good news, are they? Well, I must go. Perhaps I’ll see you tomorrow?”

M: “Yes, tomorrow. Bye…”



Read our Thoughts for March 2022 ...