Your ‘best after date’ is worth waiting for!
If I were a packet of fresh food in a supermarket a shopper might look at my ‘use by date’ and put me back on the shelf. My best before date could also discourage people who are looking for the BEST unless they are looking for someone at a reduced price! We can’t afford new and fresh so we’ll make do with less than best!
As we get older we can feel like that packet that is beyond our ‘use by date’, but to God you are like a bottle of wine that matures and gets better with the years. Forget the food, I’ll just be the bottle of wine!
You can be the wine that gladdens the hearts of people (Psalm 104:15) rather than out of date food that is dumped in a bin. Your value increases with age as you are a quality wine made by God from the True Vine. You are the good fruit, from pruned branches. that is picked before it falls so it can be made into the finest wine. (John 15) God made you as you are so stop feeling that you are beyond “your best before date” and let the world drink of your experience and wisdom.
When I joined a Zoom meeting during the week with an organisation called “Faith in Later Life” a bible text quoted was Ephesians 2 verse 10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God doesn’t issue a manufacturer’s guarantee because what he creates lasts for ever, but humanity gives people a ‘best before’ date after which we lose our value in society. Age does not prevent us from doing the “good works” in life and, like that bottle of wine, you might have a “best after” date when you are more mature.
Of course, if you are still young why not sit with a good bottle of wine for a night, sip slowly, drink carefully and let the love with which it was made gladden your heart?
People are lonely partly because they feel useless when they are put back on the shelf and as Elvis Presley sang, “I’m so lonely I could die.” No-one should feel like that, but chronic feelings of loneliness increase the risk of dementia by 64 per cent, is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is worse than being obese and not having enough exercise. Feeling useless is the opposite to what God intends, at any age, so if the best is saved to the last why not enjoy a mature bottle of wine tonight and find encouragement from what you drink! You ‘best after date’ is worth waiting for….
Planning in the present circumstances is not easy but there will be an Act of Remembrance on Sunday November 8th which we hope will bring the community together. There will be a gathering at the War Memorial led by Shellie, but what will happen depends on any changes in Covid guidelines. If things stay as they are there will be a short service of poems, reflections and prayers starting at 1045 and finishing by 1115. If there is a lockdown Shellie will lead a two minute silence with the laying of two wreaths. At the United Reformed Church we will have a service as usual but will go outside at about 1050 having invited people up and down the High Street to ‘Remember on their doorsteps.’ We hope that people on other streets will join together to remember as we did when we clapped for the NHS workers on a Thursday night.
In the darkness
may we be the light.
In the wilderness
may we be an oasis.
For the homeless
may we be a shelter.
Where there is sickness
may we be healers.
In the silence
may we be your voice.
Amen! Amen! Amen!