1977 was a momentous year. It was the Queen’s silver jubilee. BA began its supersonic Concorde service from London to New York. Star Wars: A New Hope premiered in the UK. And two Kennys put pen to paper – Dalglish became Britain’s most expensive footballer when he joined Liverpool from Celtic – and McKie signed for Scripture Union Scotland. Surely two of the best signings ever!
That was 43 years ago!
Our Kenny outplayed the King (he retired a long time ago), outflew Concorde (and broke more barriers) and his story even outlasted Star Wars (if the Rise of Skywalker is indeed the end of the saga). The Queen’s still going, of course. But that’s okay, because Kenny’s still going too. He may be retiring from SU Scotland, but as Kenny himself has reminded us many times, he’s not leaving the service of the King of Kings.
1977-2020. 43 years. Wow. We’re celebrating a lifetime of persevering, faithful and fruitful service here! Actually, more than 43 years, because Kenny led his SU Group at school and was involved with camps all through his University years.
Kenny mentioned Jeremiah in his last newsletter, identifying with the prophet’s protest, “I am only a child” when God called him into ministry. Jeremiah served God faithfully for more than 40 years too. He lived through times of political unrest, experienced intense persecution and faced widespread opposition. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t always enjoy it. He often cried out to God, laying bare the deep struggles of his inmost being.
There are echoes of Kenny’s perseverance here. He experienced some dark days, including both the Dunblane and Lockerbie tragedies. There has been political unrest in schools and in society, and yet Kenny persevered through it all: never losing sight of Jesus, the author and perfector of his faith; never losing confidence in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; and never doubting the promise – also given to Jeremiah when he started out – that God was with him and would never forsake him.
Kenny & Alison’s persevering, faithful service has also been fruitful – and we thank God for thousands of lives transformed by the power of the gospel, and thousands of young believers strengthened in their faith and launched on their own paths of service in all walks of life, at home and abroad.
Kenny has encouraged many of us with Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 over the last few months, and I can think of no better verses to pray over Kenny and Alison as they enter a new stage of life:
[We will] not stop giving thanks for you, remembering you in [our] prayers… [we will] keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. [We] pray that the eyes of your hearts may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Kenny McKie recently retired from SU Scotland after 43 years! Here are just some of the messages which were played at this years online Big Celebration, from those who have know Kenny over the years.