Posted by: peebles | May 25, 2012

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV) ~ We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

In the year of our LORD 1693, as I look out from Duntulum on the Isle of Skye, the view is breathtaking. The peaks of the rugged mountains which surround my homeland echo the majestic beauty of God’s craftsmanship. From the shore I can look out to the sea, and there, I, Gregor, of the Clan MacDonald kneel before my Saviour and declare this as hallowed ground. My hope is poured out unto my LORD with my tears as seed sown on the soil beneath me, crying out for mighty move of God upon this land. Never before have I known such a beating in my heart, never before have I heard the whisper of God sound so loud to pray for the land.

I am but one of a family of five who have farmed these hills with Highland cows, with their thick brown coats, and horns as big as a man’s arm, and sheep which graze upon this Isle. Yet, last night as I lay in the open field with the heather underneath me as a bed, its fragrance filled my nostrils with scent of sleep. It was no ordinary sleep, for the God of heaven came to me and spoke with words which stirred my soul.

It began with the sounding of swords clashing in battle, the wailing of the bagpipes played in the distance, I heard them, but I could not see them. There was the awful screaming which filled my ears, the shriek of pain caused my body to wince with sympathy to their suffering. When I could stand it not more I cried out, “My LORD no more, make this screaming stop!” Suddenly, I stood alone on a mountaintop, where the clouds hovered above my head, and then I heard someone say, “It was the cry of lost souls in their eternal suffering. Gregor, I have called you to share with your fellow man the news about Jesus Christ so they may be saved from such a place.” I cannot read or write, yet His letter was in my heart. I was to go to the local servant of God to be taught how best to learn, and was told by the same voice which spoke to me on the mountaintop in my dream that the Holy Spirit will guide me and teach me as I go.

I know there is a work to be done which is not of human hands yet, needs the willingness of man’s heart and the voice of his mouth to speak. I have come here today to plead for the souls of my family and friends that I know of. My prayers are seeds which fall on the ground and by your grace, O God, I pray they will one day take root and grow. The Clansmen are hardened men of war, they are divided by their differences, yet I will go and tell them. I sow in tears for the souls of my countrymen and women.

It has been almost a year since 38 of my kinsman were slaughtered at Glen Coe while they slept. It was during the first snow fall of winter, I was heading back to the Isle of Skye after visiting them and bringing my kinsman some supplies for the winter. I had no sooner arrived home when the news reached my ears and broke my heart. How could people do such a crime when my own Clansmen welcomed them into their home and gave them food and shelter just as the snow began to fall? I heard that the blood which fell from the swords of those men who did such a hate-filled atrocity dripped on the fresh snow outside the old but n’ben.

That winter was one which flamed with the fires of hatred towards the Clan who committed the massacre of Glen Coe. Before the end of 1693 The MacDonald’s rose up against the Campbell’s, and many a wife lost their husband and children their fathers. I myself was struck down by a swift sword to my side and a blow to my head which knocked me out. When I awoke, I found myself within the but n’ ben of a Campbell, for I recognised the colour of their tartan. Their stench filled my nostrils, and if I had the power in my body I would have rose up and slain their whole family. But their Chief Clansman sat beside me. He was a huge mountain of man named Robert, and he said to me, “Be still my friend, I mean you no harm,” as he gently wiped the brow of my head with a damp cloth and tended to my wounds. He went on to say, “My wife has made you some fresh broth, eat it while it is warm it will strengthen you, then rest a while.” “Aye, rest a while I will,” I thought, “until I am strong enough for my hand to reach for my sword and slay the lot of you, just as you killed my kinsman.” As the Chief Clansman left I could hear someone argue with him outside about wanting to kill me where I lay. Yet the Chief Clansman said, “There will be no more killing today, there will be no more bloodshed, my sword will not be drawn in anger.” I must have passed out, for how long I lay there I know not, but this one thing I do know, I was safe as long as I was in this but n’ ben.

Every day the Chief Clansman would come in to see me, sometimes several times in a day. He always asked me how I was doing, and brought me warm food and fresh water. Every day I looked at my sword at the bottom of my bed, which still had Campbell blood on it, and every day I wanted to reach for it and kill him.

Then in the middle of the night I woke, to hear someone talking. About ten feet away from me, by the fire light, there on his knees was Robert, with his back turned to me. I rallied my strength with thoughts of revenge stirring my hatred, I slowly reached for my sword and before my eyes flashed all my kinsman who had been slaughtered at Glen Coe. I crept as quietly as I could, holding my breath I edged closer to my prey. With my sword above my head ready to strike, I heard Robert say these words, “Lord Jesus, please help Gregor recover, please Lord Jesus, heal him. I am sorry for what my fellow Clansmen did; please do not hold this sin against my Clan forever. Help us to be reconciled and help each other. Lord, you know ever since Gregor has come under my roof, I have loved him as brother.” I froze as I listened to him pour out his heart to God, weeping in tears, then slowly I lowered my sword. Suddenly, I collapsed in a crumpled heap beside Robert. The next thing I can remember is waking up, with Robert sitting beside me on the bed, with a warm bowl of broth. He spoke first, “So you’re awake again Gregor, you will need this, I have put some fresh meat in it today for you, it will help you regain your strength. I have also got some fresh milk which I got myself from the goat this morning for you.” I was lost for words, because last night I was within seconds of killing this man, yet here he is still being kind to me. Our eyes met, I saw within his eyes glowing kindness, and I said to him, “I could have killed you last night.” Robert replied, “Aye, that you could have, but ever since you have come under my roof I have prayed for you every day.” “Why?” I asked him, “Why have you been so kind to me when it has been in your power to slay me?” Robert went on to say, “Well, Gregor, I think there has been enough blood spilled between us, it is time for peace, to burn the bridges of hatred and build new ones which in time will be crossed so we can put all this behind us. New ones where we can be reconciled one to another. You see Gregor, my God came to me in a vision one night, it was as clear and anything I have ever seen. He told me Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and even I, Robert, the Chief of the Clan of Campbell’s who had raised his sword in anger, could be forgiven. I don’t want this fight to continue, maybe we could start to live again, and maybe we could put the past behind us and start afresh.” Robert then reached out his hand to me, and said, “So, Gregor of the Clan Mac Donald, what do you say, let it begin with us?” I paused for a moment wondering if this was some kind of Campbell trick, but his words were honest and filled with truth, and within his eyes I could see a man who showed compassion. I reached out my hand and replied, “Robert, then let it be so.”

It has not been easy to forgive, to let go and move on. Too many words have been said in anger, too many men and woman, not to mention whole families in a single blow, have been lost needlessly, all in the name of revenge. Too many seeds of hatred have been sown in the minds of a willing field, where tall tales have become fact and whispers of resentment have grown to become the loudest war cries. Too many of these seeds have taken root and grown into huge trees that have fed the lives of others through their rotten fruit, poisoned by the serpent’s venom.

Here today, at Duntulum on the Isle of Skye, I kneel down and pray for my fellow kinsman and countrymen and women. I will soon be joined in prayer by my good friend Robert Campbell and other Clansmen and woman. We have all taken an oath to work together, to help each other, to rebuild the broken trust and with God’s help, and with His help we will. This is the Gathering of prayer, the gathering of mighty men and women who wage war not with the sword or the spear, but in prayer. Men and women who have grown to be giants, who tower far above hatred and vengeance, who have risen far above resentment to a place where their fears cannot live, a place in God where reconciliation and caring for your fellow kinsman has a higher heavenly calling, to build a better life and serve God in love rather than let fears destroy and divide. My good friend Robert will address us all today with a word from God and I will then lead us all in a song of worship to God.

My friend, in every generation God is looking for men and women who have a willing heart to serve Him and let Him use their voice to speak to their generation. It is no different today than in 1693. The message is still the same: God wants people to be reconciled to Himself and to each other. God is looking for men and women who will cry out in tears for souls and dare to be brave, taking the message to those whose hearts have been hardened by the war of life, to those who are divided by social and ethnic differences, and see God move in their hearts for their souls to saved. God is looking for those who will build bridges of friendship and brotherhood and break down the barriers, those who will rise up in prayer and extend the hand of fellowship, who will, when they see their enemy hurting, minister to them in love without prejudice, who will take one day at a time and allow God work through them to reach the lost. One life at a time, one light shinning in the darkness can light a thousand candles of hope until the light within them shines so brightly the whole world will be affected by the Light and Life of Jesus Christ working through them.

God has called you to be an agent of change, someone who will start to turn the tide, someone who will be of a different spirit and reach out to people with the gospel and sow seeds in prayer. God calls you to be a person of holiness and power, who will break the fallow ground found in the hearts of men by prayer and Christ-centred, heavenly driven actions promoted by love. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:18 to 20 (NIV), “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Therefore, let God use you in your generation as an agent of change to see people reconciled to God and to each other.

God bless you my friend, Matthew.


Responses

  1. Culture – sometimes the greatest of evil – may our faith in Christ rule over culture – Lord make it happen!


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