I have on dozens of occasions crossed over the Atlantic Ocean without either flying or sailing!
Some of you may have taken the same route over the Atlantic as me, as you leave mainland Scotland and cycle, walk, or drive across the humpback Clachan bridge onto the beautiful island of Seil.
When I worked in Oban one of my first jobs was on the Island of Luing, so crossing the “bridge over the Atlantic” was a common occurrence for me. Nowadays, if I cross this bridge it is normally because we are on our way to Ellenabeich (where they do a great ceilidh in the village hall BTW), and if we have time we’ll take the short boat trip to the Island of Easdale.
If you’ve never been, and the weather is good, then you really should visit …and no, this blog is not sponsored by the Tourist Board!
Once upon a time, the Islands of Easdale, Seil, Luing, Belnachua, and Insh roofed the world with West Coast slate. A massive storm hit the Islands in 1881 flooding the quarries and if you visit Easdale today the quarries are full of water.
The water is normally clear, and on a sunny day looking into the depths of the quarries is mesmerising, as your eye catches more shades of blue, grey, gold and green than you thought imaginable. Your eyes search to glimpse the bottom of the quarry, but some are so deep that despite the clearness of the water no matter how hard you look your eyes cannot penetrate the depth.
Looking into the depths of the Cross
This Sunday we will think a little about the cross of Jesus. Thinking about the cross is, for me at least, a bit like looking into the deep water-filled quarries on Easdale. In part, the cross is beautifully clear …the death of Jesus changes everything. Yet, contemplating the cross is also mesmerising as our eyes, our mind, our spirit, catch glimpses of the depths, the wonder, the skandalon, the mystery of what occurred on that wooden structure over two thousand years ago just outside Jerusalem.
Contemplating the cross is an act of worship which leaves us changed.
For me, this mesmerising depth to the cross was illustrated in a quote a friend from Australia posted on Twitter. The title of the blog Crux probat omnia which means “the cross proves everything” is from Luther, the quote below from Pope Leo the Great (make of that what you will!).
Here is the quote, and with this I’ll end the blog:
“By dying he [that is Jesus] submitted to the laws of the underworld; by rising again he destroyed them. He did away with the everlasting character of death so as to make death a thing of time, not eternity”.