When Ingrid was a class tutor at Sir William Romney’s School in Tetbury there was something of a running joke with her class. At the end of every tutor group meeting, Ingrid would send them off with the words, “Stay Safe!” It became something of a catchphrase and the kids would be disappointed they didn’t get the ‘proper’ send-off.
Last week, I found myself using this phrase as a regular sign off on my e-mails and messages. Indeed, I have noticed that I am certainly not the only one and “Stay Safe!” has now become a fairly regular ending to messages. I am sure that I will, on occasions, continue to use it myself but some of you might have noticed that I have sometimes added “Stay Hopeful!”
In my sermon last week and also (spoiler alert) in my sermon for this Sunday, I have made mention of the importance of Hope in my own spiritual life. Everyone, if sensible, can take measures that greatly increase the chance of them staying safe but, in so doing, they can also feel that they are cutting themselves off from all those things that make life enjoyable. For people in that situation, I pray that they might find true Hope; a vision of life enfolded in God’s love where the future is sure – even if the details are somewhat blurred.
Finally, and simply because I found it amusing, I leave you with a video of a South Gloucestershire acapella folk group called The Longest Johns doing their bit to encourage us to “Stay Safe!”