DAY 69: Tuesday 26 May
Good morning all,
Just 3 weeks ago the message to the country was ‘Stay at Home’ which has since been amended to ‘Stay Alert’. Staying alert is an important part of life and so relevant to critical decisions we take when we are driving, crossing the road, climbing ladders or even taking medicine.
On 22 December 2014, Christmas shoppers were out on Glasgow’s Queen Street when tragedy struck in the form of an out-of-control bin lorry. Six people died and 15 were seriously injured in the accident. In the Glasgow Sheriff’s Court months later, one witness described how she saw the lorry crashing down the busy street and screamed ‘watch out’ to a woman who was just coming out of a shop on the other side of the street.
‘Watch out!’ is an exclamation often used in times of danger; it’s a warning of risk or impending disaster. But can also be an expression to alert us to nicer experiences. Following yesterday’s announcement that retail stores will be able to reopen, we will for sure be seeing in the coming days huge adverts and banners encouraging us shoppers to ‘watch out’ for fantastic bargain prices as shops endeavour to move the mountains of stock that they have.
A few years ago, Karen and I were privileged to visit the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean and I remember on many occasions at different islands, our guide telling us to ‘watch out’ for specific rare birds and animals. I remember in one location there was great excitement and much camera-clicking when an eagle-eyed member of the party spotted a giant tortoise sheltering under a tree close to the path that we were walking.
The term ‘watch out’ is also used to mean caring about or looking after someone else. It implies that we are an extra pair of eyes helping them through life. Over the past 10 weeks there have been many examples of you ‘watching out’ for each another; running errands and collecting shopping, keeping in touch with those living alone, checking the eldest members of our church are staying safe and well. The Bible uses this principle in the book of Hebrews to remind us that our religious and church leaders have a duty and obligation under God’s authority to ‘watch out’ for our spiritual well-being just as a good shepherd would ‘watch out’ for the sheep in his care.
Hebrews 13:17 – Listen to your leaders and defer to them, because they are ‘watching out’ for your whole being and they will be held responsible for you before God. They need to be able to do this with pleasure and without complaints about you, because that wouldn’t help you.
Jesus also warned his disciples to ‘watch out’ for dangers and distractions that could derail their faith: – the risks in listening to false prophets and teachers, or of becoming selfish and greedy for money and possessions, or of allowing consuming jealousy to destroy a life. The Bible also encourages us to ‘watch out’ or carefully guard the beliefs we hold so as not to lose them.
Romans 16:17 - I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
Matthew 24:42 - Therefore, stay alert, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
1 Peter 5:8 - Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
So let’s continue to stay alert and watchful for life’s dangers, for other peoples’ needs, and for the amazing wonders of God’s promises in our own lives.
In last Saturday’s email under the title ‘God is for us’ I suggested an appropriate Hymnalong track for that day and Sheila, from her hospital bed, posted a one-word comment ‘YES’. This was the song she was approving >>> GOD IS OUR STRENGTH AND REFUGE
Sheila is due to be discharged from hospital and should be back home today or tomorrow.
MAKE YOU SMILE: - Signs of getting old -
• You and your teeth no longer sleep together.
• You can’t remember the last time you laid on the floor to watch TV.
• You’ve come to the conclusion that your worst enemy is gravity.
• You finally got your head together, now your body is falling apart.
• You’ve given up all your bad habits and you still don’t feel good.
• You have more patience; but actually it’s just you don’t care anymore.
• You have too much room in the house but not enough in the medicine cabinet.
• You just can’t stand people who are intolerant.