Reflections: The Rev Richard Baxter

The Rev Richard Baxter, minister of Kennoway, Windygates & Balgonie: St Kenneth's
The Rev Richard Baxter, minister of Kennoway, Windygates & Balgonie: St Kenneth's

THE film ‘Salmon Fishing In The Yemen’, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, has been popular in the cinemas over the last few months.

It tells the story of an eccentric, single-minded Yemeni sheikh, who enlists the help of British fisheries experts in his attempt to create fly-fishing opportunities in the unlikely setting of Yemen.

The film is beautifully shot, with an engaging, quirky story.

One line in the dialogue made me stop and think, however.

Ewan McGregor’s character notices a group of Yemeni workmen stopping to pray and he says to his partner: “You know, I don’t think I know anybody who goes to church any more.

“On Sundays, we go to Tesco.”

In our area, at least, he wasn’t entirely right.

Each week, hundreds of people around Levenmouth choose to share in a church service in one or other of the local churches, even if thousands of others don’t.

However, the comment highlights the need in all of us to share aspects of our lives with a wider community.

We all need a sense of belonging and to feel part of something bigger than our own immediate family.

Many people seek that sense of belonging through following a sports team, or taking part in some sort of shared and organised activity.

But, for me, nothing compares with joining friends and neighbours to worship God together.

A trip to a shopping centre cannot really provide the sort of community experience which gathering with others to focus on the God who made us offers.

Having friends on Facebook is great, but no substitute for face-to-face contact with real friends.

Three thousand years ago, the Psalmist knew this deep-seated human need for community.

“How good and how pleasant it is when people dwell together in unity,” he wrote.

What are the places and times when you feel part of a bigger community?

If it feels like something might be missing, why not get involved in a worshipping community near you?