Scaladale Weekend Report
(We are grateful to Mr Tom Budgen of the Stornoway Congregation for supplying this report.)
Any special weekend of fellowship and teaching is always a blessing to the Lord’s people, and it was with a sense of anticipation and excitement that a group of young people came together for the denomination’s third annual conference – “The Scaladale 20/30’s Weekend Away”. Located in the beautiful, dramatic scenery of North Harris with the Scaladale Centre as our base, we had as our theme and topic for the weekend, “Joseph as a Type of Christ”.
Our visiting preacher was the Rev James Clark (Inverness) who began the weekend with an excellent introductory talk on “Joseph and the Revelation from God,” in which he reminded us that Joseph’s name means a “Revealer of secrets”. He built upon the idea that Joseph typified Christ’s humiliation and exaltation, and drew our attention to the striking fact that as Joseph revealed the hearts of his brethren and was hated for it, so too the Lord Jesus also revealed what was in the hearts of men and was rejected in a similar manner. He emphasised the fulfilment of Christ in the OT prophets, types and psalms and gave us to cause to rejoice over the unity and harmony of the Scriptures.
The Saturday morning talk focused on Genesis 39 and Mr Clark spoke on the humiliation of Joseph by contrasting his sufferings with Christ’s. Despite Joseph’s betrayal and slavery in Egypt, we read “The Lord was with Joseph” and this was the theme Mr Clark drew on for the morning. He paralleled Joseph’s injustices and hard trials with the many reproaches Christ suffered as the sin-bearer. For example, as Joseph was falsely accused, cast into prison, numbered with the transgressors, the means of blessing to one but to the other of judgment, so too was Christ betrayed by one of His brethren, cast into a deeper spiritual prison, numbered with the transgressors and made a blessing to the thief but a means of judgment to the other. Mr Clark warmly and devotionally applied the sufferings of Joseph and Christ to the sufferings of the Church and encouraged us to continue walking in faith as Joseph did.
The rest of the day was spent doing various activities including hill-walking and indoor sports before coming together again for the evening talk. Mr Clark’s title was “Joseph’s Exaltation” and he thoughtfully expounded parts of Genesis 41 by pointing out that Joseph was delivered in God’s time and as his authority and glory were publicly owned as Prime Minister of Egypt, before whom all would bow the knee (Gen. 41:43), so too was Christ exalted on the throne of His Father and set over the world. Mr Clark continued his series on Lord’s Day morning with Genesis 45:3 – “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?” with the title, “The Self-Revelation of Joseph”. Despite thirteen years of slavery and prison and twenty-two years of exile from his father, Joseph lovingly and freely forgave his brothers. Mr Clark emphasised the self-revelation of Christ to the sinner and the love Christ had for the Father to do the work He was sent to do. He brought to our attention once more the compassion Christ has for the lost and His willingness to show mercy to those who truly repent and put their faith and trust in Him.
Sabbath evening saw us warmly welcomed by the Harris Congregation and Mr Clark concluded his series of talks with Genesis 50:25 and Hebrews 11:22 as his texts, and “The Faith of Joseph” as his title. Mr Clark focused on the need for faith in Christ in barren times and the need to continue trusting in the Lord during our wilderness journey.
We are most grateful to our visiting preacher Mr Clark for his thoughtful, warm and wise words, his time and energy, not to mention his frequent references to various books to help us with the many questions we asked of him! We are thankful to have such faithful and biblically-based teaching and would do well to remember how the “lines are fallen unto us in pleasant places.”
We are also indebted to our wonderful chef, Sandra Mackay, who gave up her weekend to come and cook for us (a big thank you for all the desserts!); Sean Stephen and his team for his efficiently organised hill-walking activity, the centre itself for allowing us to make use of it and of course a warm and hearty thanks to the Stornoway congregation for once again providing us with all sorts of delicious treats and baking that I’m sure even the likes of Mary Berry herself would enjoy!
Continuing on with our list of thank you’s, a special mention goes to Mr Alan Mackenzie (Deacon, Stornoway) for driving us back and forth to Northton on Sabbath afternoon in the mini-bus. We also thank all the day visitors for their support for all those who contributed to the retiring collection for the Lord’s work in Sri Lanka where our brother Partheepan labours, and for the building fund of the Lewis Independent Christian School. We are thankful for the prayers of the saints who could not be with us, for all who prayed and led the praise during the weekend itself and of course for everyone who attended. Above all we give thanks to God for “His unspeakable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15), the Lord Jesus Christ, who was sent forth, “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4,5).
The addresses from the weekend can all be found on sermonaudio by clicking here.