This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. (Exodus 12:14)
This verse from Exodus refers to the Passover, the occasion that marks the beginning of the forming identity of the Jewish people. Every year they remember it as a celebration of their heritage. We celebrate it also, connecting it to Jesus Christ and the Last Supper with his disciples. On Sunday we celebrated a different heritage. We pulled out all the stops, dusted off the bagpipes, pulled on our kilts, and joined together in a service called the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans. It honors the Scottish heritage of the Presbyterian Church that dates all the way back to the 1500s when John Knox preached in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.
What I love most about the service is not the pomp and circumstance or the high church feel or the liturgical order, though those things are impressive. What strikes me about it is what it represents. Kirk is a Scottish word meaning church. Kirkin' (or churchin') is the act of blessing. Tartan is the woven fabric adopted to represent each Scottish clan. Put together, you have a blessing for the families. The service itself is not just about particular families or people, but all families. It is meant to honor the heritage we all bring when we come together. That is what struck me.
As we gathered together in the church, people of all ages helped bring in the tartans that represent families of all kinds. We then asked God’s blessing on us all. In a sense, we stood straight up in the midst of a world that would steal away the heart of us and claimed the unity of God’s family in Jesus Christ. We claimed the high calling of being together, and that is a bold act of faith.
Published on 10/23/2017 @ 7:00 PM CDT