Or, if you’re not Scottish: “two dogs”.
I decided on “Twa Dugs” as a title because over the last few days I have been listening to The Dundee Gospel while driving. This is a wonderful production of Mark’s Gospel, related in the Dundee dialect by four elders from Meadowside St Paul’s. Though I am not a Dundonian by birth, but merely by way of family relationships, I was surprised by how moving I found it to hear these familiar words delivered as if overheard in the Overgate (shopping mall opposite Meadowside St Paul’s). Somehow it brings Jesus closer to home. As Eugene Peterson has it in his translation, The Message, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” (John’s Gospel, chapter 1, verse 14)
So why “dogs” or “dugs” at all? Well, it’s all because of Goodness and Mercy, two dogs who “all my life will surely follow me”. Sounds familiar? We sang the 23rd psalm at a funeral in Meadowside St Paul’s this morning, chosen not because it’s “the usual one” for such occasions, but because it was a favourite of the lady who had died; a lady with a strong faith which showed itself in deeds, both within the Church and outside it.
After the service, a friend of hers told me that a wee boy (there’s always one!) had asked the minister if they could sing the hymn about the two dogs. Yes, you’ve guessed it – those faithful pooches, Goodness and Mercy.
But this is not the only time this week when I’ve been thinking about following. At the last of our four We are the Church gatherings on Tuesday, our topic was discipleship.
We began by thinking about what the word “disciple” brings to mind. Is it beards and sandals and fishing boats? Is it people we know, or have known, who have shown us a good example of how to be Christlike in our daily lives? Is it simply a description of someone who follows Jesus?
Unlike the other three, this session did not extend fully to its allotted time period of an hour and a half. Perhaps because Discipleship is an easier concept to grasp than The Bible, Care and Prayer, and The Kirk Session.
But it is not that easy to put into practice, at least not all of the time. This season of Lent, however, offers a fresh opportunity to start again – to recommit ourselves to discipleship, to spend a little more time praying, caring, being with friends and family.
As for bible study, well, we’ll be doing that – members of our two churches coming together with Dundee Congregational Church to look at some of the shorter, less well known books of the Old and New Testaments.
Details below – if you’re a Dundonian, or if this is your adoptive city, come along and join us. We’d be delighted to see you.
LENTEN BIBLE STUDIES
looking at shorter, less well known books of the bible,
Rev. Alan Livingstone
Minister of Dundee Congregational Church
(using the Old Testament)
Rev. Caroline Taylor
Interim Moderator of Meadowside St Paul’s linked with St Andrew’s
(using the New Testament)
ALL WELCOME! Bring a bible if you have one.
Come once or more – up to you.
Monday 11th March, 7.00 pm, %%
Tuesday 19th March, 2.00 pm ^^^
Monday 25th March, 7.00 pm %%
Tuesday 2nd April, 2.00 pm ^^^
Thursday 11th April, 7.00 pm %%
%% Meadowside St Paul’s, Room F1, 1st floor
(enter via side door)
^^^ Dundee Congregational Church, lesser chapel
(enter via Nicol Street)