“I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning”
On the flat calm waters of the Passage of Tiree there was a lone fishing boat working off Scarinish harbour but it made us think of the popular 17th Century traditional carol.
Our day began with an early rise. Well at least it felt that way for in these more northern parts the sun does not rise till close on 9:00am. The bird was put in the oven and preparations were made for Christmas dinner. A quick video link up was had with the family in England before heading off to the Baptist Church at Baugh for the Christmas Morning Celebration.
What a beautiful morning for the short drive from Scarinish to Baugh. The sun was shining, the air was still and the sea was calm. This was Christmas morning on Tiree. Soon the church building began to fill up with young and old for the all age joint service. What a delight to share in the excitement of some of the Christmas presents the children had received. The cause of our rejoicing was the birth of Jesus – This child was God with us, as promised by God, who came so that we could be friends with God. The celebration concluded with the Gaelic Carol associated with Tiree, ‘Leanabh an àigh’. The carol is to the tune Bunessan and has the English words, ‘Child in the manger, infant of Mary’.
Most people stayed around to share over a warm cuppa and to enjoy some seasonal fare – Christmas cake and miscopies. Outside was like a summer’s day, other than the fact daylight hours are in short supply at this time of the year and there was a slight nip in the air.
Although we were looking forward to our Christmas dinner, we made time to stop in Scarinish. We parked above the Scarinish Hotel and Old Harbour. Tiree itself was sitting under an almost cloudless sky, yet around the Isle there were clouds, especially over Ben More on the Isle of Mull.
The sky was blue, the grass a rich green and the sheep were quietly grazing. It was hard to think this the 25th of December and that for Boxing Day the ferry is on alert due to winds gusting in excess of 40mph.
What a grand Christmas morning and it came with the reminder that Jesus is no longer the ‘Babe of Bethlehem’. He is our living Lord who is with us always by his Spirit and one day he is returning. This is Life on Tiree on Christmas Day in the morning.