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In the school holidays, the primary school children in Mallaig, Morar, and Arisaig, enjoyed searching out the scarecrows on a scarecrow trail that various people have constructed around our communities. The creators have been very imaginative: some look like people, some like animals, some are scary, and some are just funny! There’s even a scarecrow who quotes the Bible: ‘Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field. They cannot speak, and they have to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them!’
Most birds, especially crows, soon learn that a scarecrow isn’t going to hurt them, and they ignore it. The most common instruction in the Bible is ‘Fear not!’, to which Jesus added, ‘I will always be with you.’ The Bible tells us that God loves us – and so most of us feel able to ignore Him. We are confident that God won’t hurt us, if he even exists at all.
But the world is full of hazards, which we ignore at our peril. Covid is the most recent, invisible example. But it’s real enough, like God Himself. If we ignore the virus, then one day, when we are not expecting it, we will get infected. We can’t tell in advance whether it will bring serious consequences, or if you will just shrug it off with less trouble than even a cold.
But whatever hazards we face, God’s promise holds true. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He loves you. You can have faith in Him because He is trustworthy. He always keeps his promises.
Reverend Stewart Goudie, North West Lochaber Church of Scotland.