Brethren of Brae

On Tuesday, I attended the mid-week meeting at one of the several Gospel Halls found in Shetland. It was modern though plain, and several Bible verses had been skilfully painted onto the walls. These Brethren have several halls and seem to have prospered, perhaps helped by the absence of the Free Presbyterians whose church never reached these parts. We sang a hymn from Redemption Songs before a young man ascended the pulpit and spoke about Ithai the Gittite. I couldn’t make out everything he said- Shetlanders have a pleasant though distinctive accent. That very day I had visited an art shop, the staff of which conversed in a quiet, musical babble which was largely unintelligible to me. Still, what I understood at the Gospel Hall was a blessing. Ithai, though a foreigner, refused the service of Absalom, the glamorous usurping prince, remaining faithful to God’s anointed king.

There followed a time of open prayer during which the behatted women and strangers such as me remained silent except to add amens to prayers we endorsed. The people were afterwards friendly, the elder explaining that he had been down in Blackburn the week before, the reasons for which I considered discourteous to enquire.

It was good to spend time with Jeshuran, God’s beloved people. Though they spoke a strange way and inhabited the edge of the earth, it was a lovely to be with them. I pray God’s blessing upon the brethren of Brae.