Thin Places

Thought For The Week

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths -

Iona is of­ten re­ferred to as a “thin place” - where the veil is thin be­tween heaven and earth. Is there any re­al­ity in this no­tion? Are there re­ally some spe­cial places where those who have the time, health and money to get there may en­counter God?

What is it about Iona which at­tracts so many spir­i­tual pil­grims and seek­ers? Per­haps there is a stronger spir­i­tual energy be­cause it has been a place of prayer and pil­grim­age for cen­turies, or per­haps it has some­thing to do with the an­cient rocks and a sense of time­less­ness. Or per­haps it is in some way sub­jec­tive, as peo­ple come with high ex­pec­ta­tions, away from life’s dis­trac­tions and seek­ing a spir­i­tual ex­pe­ri­ence.

Many visi­tors to

Iona value a pil­grim­age walk to St Columba’s Bay. Be­fore re­turn­ing to the vil­lage, there is a pause at a high view­point to con­sider ‘moun­tain­top’ ex­pe­ri­ences. Je­sus took three of his dis­ci­ples up a moun­tain (Matthew Ch.17) where they saw his glory re­vealed. They wanted to stay there but no, they had to go back down the moun­tain and en­gage with the chal­lenges of or­di­nary life. So it is for us. The thing to hold onto is the cer­tainty that God is just as close to us in the work­place, in the hum­drum busi­ness of ev­ery­day life, in a hos­pi­tal bed, as he is in the moun­tain­top ex­pe­ri­ences of life, for Je­sus has promised “I will never leave you or for­sake you.” He­brews 13:5.

Rev Joyce Wat­son, Isle of Iona.

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