Bepre­pared!

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Rev Dr J Em­mette Weir is pres­i­dent emer­i­tus of the Con­fer­ence of the Methodist Church in The Ba­hamas and Turks & Caicos. Send feed­back to fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@ glean­erjm.com.

The SDC’s act­ing man­ager for St Mary, Des­mond Sin­clair.

Now learn a para­ble of the fig tree. When his branch is yet ten­der, and put­teth forth leaves, ye know that sum­mer is nigh. So like­wise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Ver­ily I say unto you, this gen­er­a­tion shall not pass, till all these things be ful­filled.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the an­gels of heaven, but my Fa­ther only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the com­ing of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were be­fore the flood, they were eat­ing and drink­ing, mar­ry­ing and giv­ing in mar­riage, un­til the day that Noah en­tered into the ark, And knew not un­til the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the com­ing of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grind­ing at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch, there­fore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suf­fered his house to be bro­ken up. There­fore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:32-44

Many years ago, while a schoolboy in short pants at the gov­ern­ment high school, I joined the Boy Scout move­ment. In­deed, I was a pa­trol leader. The cap­tain of our troop was the late Sir Arthur Bar­nett, fa­ther of our re­cently ap­pointed At­tor­ney Gen­eral Se­na­tor Michael Bar­nett.

TRAIN­ING

The train­ing was quite rig­or­ous and chal­leng­ing, re­quir­ing a knowl­edge of how to tie var­i­ous knots, the semaphore code and sur­vival tac­tics, should one get lost on an ex­pe­di­tion, etc, the motto of the move­ment then, and still is, ‘Be pre­pared!’ Yes, Boy Scouts are ex­pected to be pre­pared to meet any emer­gency that might oc­cur in a long, ad­ven­tur­ous jour­ney!

Be pre­pared! This is a motto that is re­quired not only of those who be­long to the Boy Scout move­ment, but of peo­ple in ev­ery walk of life! For, no mat­ter in what sit­u­a­tion you may find your­self, it is es­sen­tial that you should be pre­pared if you are to sur­vive it. While ad­e­quate prepa­ra­tion is al­ways ad­van­ta­geous, there can be no shadow of a doubt that at no other time of the year is it more nec­es­sary than dur­ing hur­ri­cane sea­son.

This is pre­cisely why, through­out this sea­son, we are re­minded, through count­less an­nounce­ments in the me­dia and by those who are ex­pe­ri­enced, that we should make prepa­ra­tion as soon as a hur­ri­cane ap­pears on the ocean or, to put it more per­ti­nently, by the time warn­ings are is­sued, we should be well pre­pared.

We should have enough food and wa­ter, bat­ter­ies and flash­lights, ra­dios and first aid equip­ment, to weather any hur­ri­cane. More­over, we should have long ago, ‘paid up’ our in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums on all our prop­erty. And we must be pre­pared to move to a hur­ri­cane shel­ter if our home is not strong! De­spite these ex­hor­ta­tions, there are al­ways those among us who are not pre­pared. This is not good! We should, in­deed make ev­ery ef­fort to ‘be pre­pared!’

Now, the need for prepa­ra­tion at the spir­i­tual level is the bur­den of our Scrip­ture read­ing this morn­ing. In it, Je­sus warned His dis­ci­ples to live in such a man­ner that they would be pre­pared spir­i­tu­ally to re­ceive Him dur­ing the last days. This warn­ing is still rel­e­vant. It is a clar­ion call to us to live day by day, de­vot­ing our­selves to prayer, Bi­ble study and acts of char­ity so that when­ever the Lord calls us, we should be ready to meet our Maker. The sud­den pass­ing of sev­eral of our prom­i­nent cit­i­zens re­cently cer­tainly re­minds us all of the great ne­ces­sity of be­ing pre­pared spir­i­tu­ally at all times.

AL­WAYS BE PRE­PARED

My dear reader, the need or prepa­ra­tion is al­ways with us! So, be pre­pared for the pos­si­bil­ity of a trop­i­cal storm com­ing our way. Yes! Make sure that you have ad­e­quate sup­plies, that all your pos­ses­sions are in­sured, and that your home is bat­tened down/up dur­ing this busy hur­ri­cane sea­son! Be pre­pared for any emer­gency that may oc­cur in car­ry­ing out your pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Be pre­pared to help others in need, es­pe­cially those who have suf­fered as a re­sult of the rav­ages of hur­ri­canes.

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