Last year I had the privilege of getting to know two S6 Broughton High School students. One, a Christian, brought her friend along to our lunchtime SU sessions in school. I got to know both amid their intrigue as they asked insightful and intelligent questions that led the SU group into deeper discussions about life and faith. Sadly, due to Covid-19 SU hasn’t managed to start back up yet. However, we hatched a plan to meet at Costa and talk about what the next year might look like for these two soon-to-be school leavers. 

As I left the church office and rounded the corner onto Comely Bank Road I was met with the sight of the two young women leaning over an upturned bicycle, spanners in hand! As they were cycling to school together a pedal had fallen off! I joined them and we sat on the new benches in front of ‘Little Dobbies’. Despite our best efforts and a trip to ‘Bike and Spanner’ the bike wasn’t a quick fix due to a stripped thread.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, sitting on that bench outside little Dobbies, and later at Costa, God was drawing close, helping one student take her eyes off the burdening problems in her life – the things that need repair. Instead, through the supportive love of her friend, she began to see some solutions and a way ahead.

We talked about church a little, but we did church a lot. We didn’t sound spiritual and we didn’t fix anything, but we were there and we listened. 

I was reminded that church is the people, not the place. We can’t meet together as freely at SSCB at the moment, yet spiritually we are free indeed! We are still His Church. God is not limited by a building and neither are we! We still have the power to love radically, to see people come to know Christ, to listen to the broken and even heal the sick!  

Today I passed the same bench outside Little Dobbies, two friends from our congregation were on that same bench deep in conversation. And I was struck with my first thoughts of Christmas: Emmanuel! God with us…. Even outside Little Dobbies.

[from Philip Anderson, Youth Worker]

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