Tag Archives: caring

Look Out

The Ottackal look out

1 Corinthians 10:24 (GNT)

24 None of you should be looking out for your own interests, but for the interests of others.

This is the nub of the Christian life.  A focus for lent – and beyond.

What and whom am I looking out for?  Whose interests are paramount in my life?  Where am I looking?

Lord,
I get so caught up in me,
my wants
and perceived needs;
so keen
to have my needs met,
things my way,
so involved in the world of me.

But there are so many more,
all with needs
and cares.

May my concerns,
real as some of them are,
not overshadow those of others
in my mind and life.

May I not be so wrapped up in myself
that I fail to see others;
so busy getting what I want,
that I trample on others needs;
so busy saying
‘look at me’
that others are overlooked;
so busy looking out for me,
that I am not looking out for others.

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Look Out

We want to know when.  We kid ourselves that if only we knew when, we would be ready and prepared.  But would we?  Will we ever be ready for God’s return?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (CEV)

I don’t need to write you about the time or date when all this will happen. You surely know that the Lord’s return will be as a thief coming at night. People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won’t escape.

My dear friends, you don’t live in darkness, and so that day won’t surprise you like a thief. You belong to the light and live in the day. We don’t live in the night or belong to the dark. Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.

God doesn’t intend to punish us, but wants us to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 Christ died for us, so that we could live with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11 That’s why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing.

This passage follows a similar theme to last weeks gospel reading.  Don’t sleep, stay awake.  It doesn’t mean physically, if it did I would be beyond all hope!

But we should be alert, spiritually aware.  And we should be watching – perhaps not just for ourselves, but watching for those who cannot watch for themselves.  When someone we know is in distress, we watch over them and we watch out for them. When I am asleep, I know that the wonderful Mr Pamsperambulation watches out. That’s an element of this watchfulness for God’s coming that I’ve never thought of before.

We won’t know when God is coming.  We won’t know when we will meet him.  It is a sad fact of life that sudden illness or accident can strike at any time.  If it happened to me today, am I ready?

God is not trying to catch us out, waiting until we’re doing something wrong to pounce.  He longs for us to live with him eternally.  And that means being spiritually aware, doing all we can to be ready to meet him – encouraging and helping one another along the way.

 Lord may I watch
and wait;
ready,
prepared,
living for you.

Give me patience,
stamina,
understanding,
compassion
and grace
that I may watch
and watch over
faithfully
for you

An Honourable Life

There are many jokes about what makes a good wife, for example.

My wife dresses to kill. She also cooks the same way. (Henny Youngman)

or

A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong. (Milton Berle)

It has become quite unfashionable to even think of a “Good Wife”.  For perfectly proper reasons, like men and women are equal, and neither needs to be “the one” that holds the household together, each bring complementary roles, not necessarily dictated by gender.

So to some, this advice from Proverbs may seem twee, or outdated, but whether aimed at women or men, wives or husbands, it is excellent advice on how to live generally, and be respected.

Proverbs 31:10-31

In Praise of a Good Wife

10 A truly good wife
is the most precious treasure
a man can find!
11 Her husband depends on her,
and she never
lets him down.
12 She is good to him
every day of her life,
13     and with her own hands
she gladly makes clothes.

14 She is like a sailing ship
that brings food
from across the sea.
15 She gets up before daylight
to prepare food
for her family
and for her servants
16 She knows how to buy land
and how to plant a vineyard,
17     and she always works hard.
18 She knows when to buy or sell,
and she stays busy
until late at night.
19 She spins her own cloth,
20     and she helps the poor
and the needy.
21 Her family has warm clothing,
and so she doesn’t worry
when it snows.
22 She does her own sewing,
and everything she wears
is beautiful.

23 Her husband is a well-known
and respected leader
in the city.
24 She makes clothes to sell
to the shop owners.
25 She is strong and graceful,
as well as cheerful
about the future.
26 Her words are sensible,
and her advice
is thoughtful.
27 She takes good care
of her family
and is never lazy.
28 Her children praise her,
and with great pride
her husband says,
29 “There are many good women,
but you are the best!”

30 Charm can be deceiving,
and beauty fades away,
but a woman
who honours the Lord
deserves to be praised.
31 Show her respect—
praise her in public
for what she has done.

Caring for others; ensuring needs are met; being known for wise advice, someone it is safe to turn to to ask; being someone who honours the Lord – aren’t they qualities we should all aspire to?

Lord,

I pray

that I may be known

as someone who honours you,

who is trustworthy,

wise,

caring

and a provider.

However that fits into my life,

as a wife, mother, daughter;

as father, brother, son;

as sole-provider or joint carer;

as colleague, neighbour, friend

– may I live in ways that help others

– and honour you