I was listening to an old sermon preached by the Rev. Willie Still, one time Minister of Gilcompston Church of Scotland, in Aberdeen. In the context of his sermon he said that in response to enquiries as to how they were doing, his answer was always the same. Whether it was from other parts of the country or world, Europe, the USA, or Alaska, his response was always the same, “just plodding.” He was saying this in the light of the emergence of a ‘new evangelicalism’ that was breaking out in a rash in Scotland, that boasted of great things. We, he said, here in Aberdeen, and of course, many others too in Scotland had laboured many long years in the one place, simply, quietly and faithfully expounding God’s word. Some he said over thirty years, some twenty and some less, but all equally and quietly and determined to continue to just ‘plod on’ like he himself, through wind and storm.
Hearing this from this godly, and for many years, very fruitful Pastor, I was somewhat encouraged. It just felt, sat right with me. There is something that just does not sit right, lie comfortably with me today. When I hear many of these modern evangelical boasters, ever talking about their swelling, mega-congregations, how well they’re doing, they tell us. From Dundee to London, Manhattan to Los Angeles, or even Timbuktu, it is heard from many quarters. There are many of us in like-fashion to Willie Still, who continue in the same ‘old’ way to just ‘plod.’ We have no new fancy ideas, no rock ‘n roll bands. We seek simply and quietly to continue expounding God’s word. Aye, we don’t have kettle drums and synthesisers, just Bibles and Psalm books, and we humbly trust, the presence of God the Holy Spirit. And if you ask us? Och! we’re ‘just plodding.’ There’s many an old tree that still bears luscious fruit.
Brethren, select “the old paths” (Jeremiah 6:16), and press ‘enter.’
(© James R Hamilton, 4th, May 2014).