DAY 61: Monday 18 May
Good morning everyone
Yesterday afternoon I was taking our dog for a walk in Rectory Park. At the entrance to the park next to St Chad’s Church, there were several bunches of flowers fastened to the steel gate. There were words of respect attached to each bunch from which I learned they were in tribute and memory of a chap called Jamie who apparently had been coach to the football club. 30 minutes later as we were leaving the park, a young couple were attaching yet another bunch of flowers and when I asked what had happened, they said he had been ill for some time and had died from cancer.
Bunches of flowers are an oft used way of demonstrating our feelings following the loss of someone for whom we had respect . We sometimes see bunches of drooping flowers attached to trees or fence at the spot where someone has suffered a fatal accident. Respect is an attitude we offer to someone we love, esteem or admire and is shown through courtesy, deference or warm-hearted affection. We use the term when attending a funeral that ‘we are going to pay our respects’. The act of standing is also a mark of respect – we stand for the bride entering the church, in every nation of the world people stand for their National Anthem, and in recent weeks the nation has been standing and clapping on Thursday evenings for those who are serving us in the NHS and other key roles.
Many years ago, I was working for a family-owned company in Atherstone where management/staff relations were excellent. There was certainly no ‘them and us’ and office-banter was always given and received in good spirit. I recall on one day, two or three of the girls in the office were ‘having a friendly go at me’ which was not uncommon even though I was their manager. Odd things seemed to amuse them – that I was an only child, that I knew nothing about pop music or dancing, or that I went to church on Sundays. On this particular day I don’t remember what the banter was about, but at some point I exclaimed ‘have some respect’ to which the one girl responded with a grin ‘you know you have to earn respect.’ I recall my immediate retort was ‘if that’s all you want to earn I’ll have a word with the payroll department’. Everyone laughed and we all carried on with our work and the lady in question reminded me of this for weeks after saying it was one of the funniest things that I had said.
From our childhood we were taught to respect others and much of this is drawn from Bible teachings – here’s just four of many examples
Leviticus 19:3 - Each of you must respect your mother and father
Leviticus 19:32 - Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.
Romans 13:7 - Give to everyone what you owe them: if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.
1 Peter 2:17 - Show proper respect for all people: love the brothers and sisters of God’s family, respect God, honour the king.
There are many other verses teaching respect but always the respect is both ways –
- employers and employees
- husbands and wives
- children and parents
- younger and older generations
- citizens and national leaders
- church leaders and congregations
We can’t say we respect the Law but then break the law, we’re guilty.
We can’t claim to love one another but then not respect one another.
We can’t say we respect other people but then always demand getting our own way.
We tend to respect forces that are greater than us such as the wind and waves and we are constantly being told to respect nature and the environment. We try to respect our bodies by eating wisely and exercising.
At the top of this message, I was told in a joking manner ‘you have to earn respect’. We earn respect through what we do and how we live and expressions of respect for a loved one often come out at the funeral. Linda Lord has suggested she would like to attend her own Funeral/Thanksgiving service before she dies so she can hear what others are going to say about her.
We respect our God and Saviour because he is worthy not only of our respect but of our worship and obedience.
We can express our worship and praise in today’s Hymnalong >>> O LORD MY GOD (How great Thou art)
MAKE YOU SMILE:
It is said laziness is the mother of all bad habits, but ultimately, she is a mother and so we should respect her.
At a motivational seminar, 3 men were volunteered to go up to the stage and were asked the same question, "When you are in your coffin, and your loved ones are mourning, what would you like to hear them say about you?"
The 1st man said, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor and a great family man.”
The 2nd man said, "I would like to hear them say that I was a wonderful husband and teacher who made a huge difference to the children."
The 3rd man said, "I would like to hear them say... LOOK!!! HE'S MOVING!!!"
Let’s endeavour to show some special respect to someone today