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Rev. Robin McAlpine

Updated: 12 May 2021

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Weekly Thoughts

Robin has written, compiled, read and presented some thoughts for various days during the week. You can find links to his reflections for Sundays by using the index on the right of the page.

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

Week of Monday 10th May 2021

John 15 verses 9-17

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

17 This is my command: Love each other.

The word “love” or “loved “appears nine times in nine verses in this passage, and coming of age in the 1960’s, I couldn’t help thinking of, and singing the Beatles anthem, “ All you need is love”. In that song, there is the refrain “It’s easy...” but anyone who has ever loved (cue another 60’s song!) Knows that love is not easy.

For love to survive and thrive takes hard work over a period of time, and sometimes it will demand giving up your life- or at least that’s how it may feel. Whether it’s coping with a baby or child ...or caring for a sick or elderly family member...or persisting with a difficult friend...persevering with all the awkward people you in action is never “easy”.

But if we are following Jesus, that is what He demands of us in this new commandment of love.


Father God, thank you for showing your love, by sending your Son, Jesus.

Jesus, Son of God, thank you for showing and sharing that love with us.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to share that love with others. Amen.

Nancy Gilmartin

Week of Monday 3rd May 2021

John 15: 1-8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.

3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

During lockdown, gardens have become much sought after and appreciated as places of refuge, escape and comfort. I wonder, however, how long it will be before “new” gardeners discover how much hard work is involved in simply maintaining a garden, never mind making it productive?

And I wonder too if at the beginning of following Jesus, it might seem like being in a Garden of Eden or Paradise, to feel that you might be in a safe place, a place of comfort, and a place where you might hope to be doing the right things? This passage reminds us of an often painful process: what might have to be given up, in return for growing in faith.

It’s no coincidence I think, that gardening, the real kind, and the spiritual, means at lot of time on your knees: weeding, cutting back, and yes, praying.


Father God, forgive us for the times when we have grown our own way, ignoring you.

Jesus, Son of God, help us to remain faithful to you and your Word.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to bear fruit by living and sharing the Gospel with others. Amen.

Nancy Gilmartin

Read our Thoughts for April 2021 ...