New Life

New Life
February 3, 2023 June Whittaker

New Life


The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.
And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the Lord
to glorify Him.


Isaiah 61:1-3

New Life, by Rev. Milissa Ewing, is a meditation on life, death, and hope. Though there is grief in seeing majestic trees cut down, Ewing reflect on the miracle of new life that emerges with time, water, and sunlight. In this miracle, she discovers a parable of Christian life and the resurrecting work of the Spirit.


At a recent meeting, this painting was discussed and a Church of Scotland minister reflected on how she saw the denomination dying like the tree in the painting.   She felt that church as we know it would not completely die and that new expressions of church would emerge from the stump which even although it was dead, it was still supporting lots of plant, insect and small animal life.  I was very much reminded of Isaiah 61:1-3 and in particular the verse 3.


I also discovered the following extract regarding my local town which really encouraged me and helped me to realise how much we need to pray for the generations following us:


Extract from ‘Children in Revival’ by Harry Sprange (2002)


‘In Auchterarder there is early evidence of a schoolboys’ prayer meeting, this report being dated 21 April 1860:


A week since, a few of the boys attending the Free Church school have waited on their teacher, Mr Ferguson, and asked him to be so kind as to leave the key of the school-room with the, during the interval hour, viz., from 1-2 pm as they were anxious to hold a prayer meeting.  The meeting was attended the first day by fourteen boys from between the age of eight and fourteen years.  The number is now increased to thirty-five.  The girls belonging to the same school have, since the, also begun a meeting.  The number as yet is twenty-five, but as both meetings are only in their infancy, the numbers, it is hoped, will soon increase.  These meetings are to be hailed with much joy.


I do believe our prayers are being answered and would encourage us all to continue praying for our indigenous church and to help SMUK to find ways of facilitating and supporting these new shoots and for the continued development of Youth Kairos in the UK.


Margaret McLaren