What an amazing sign of gospel reconciliation: to be working towards the healing of the land in our community alongside Catholic charismatic brothers and sisters in this divided city. The scriptural encouragement to live in unity (“make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” Eph. 4:3), to share our lives and gifts alongside the marginalised (1 Thess. 2:8, Lk. 4:18) and see the land healed (2 Chron. 7:14; 2 Kings 2:21; Ezekiel 47:8) all came together during two rainy afternoons in the middle of July. The ten dedicated men and women aged from 18-24 who joined us were taking part in the Summer Households training week run by Kairos, an organisation linked to the Sword of the Spirit international charismatic network. We had been hoping to link up with the local outpost of Barnardos (called CHIP) to work on Possil Meadow but things hadn’t worked out dates-wise. Instead, on the first day half of us blitzed Brian and Helen’s garden – strimming, hedge-trimming and planting, while the rest indulged in pimping some Possil pavement by replanting some neglected concrete planters on a main path though Possil. On day 2, the rain wasn’t quite so bad, and we did some guerilla gardening at our old site of BM Metals across from Brothers Path, where the wildflowers are. The rest of us joined the local church of Scotland minister and some of the parishioners in beginning to tackle the rear-garden of the church. The plan was to get rid of as many weeds as possible to help the future work of creating a community garden on the site.
In between we explored the Clay Pit together, planted an oak tree to symbolise the resurrection of Christ (whose death on a cross required a tree to be chopped down) and engaged in intercession and prayer for the whole city of Glasgow from the wonderful viewpoint over the city there. A particularly memorable moment was when Paul managed to get all these young Catholics praying for Rangers and the fall-out from the financial scandal. If that isn’t a sign of the kingdom, we’re not sure what is!
The Spirit leads us to Christ, fills us with his presence, gives us gifts and heals us. But he also draws us to the margins to embrace our most deprived communities, calls us to move towards unity with estranged brothers and sisters, and work towards the healing and stewardship of creation. What an amazing blessing to be part of his work in this way. Big thanks to everyone here in Possil who worked alongside us and made this possible.