The words grace, peace and mercy be with you are a sign of respect to you all.
It is with sadness that I have experienced on many occasions lately the lack of respect that appears to becoming the norm in our society today.
People doing public service often receive the least respect.
Do you remember the horror stabbing of MP Jo Cox in her Yorkshire constituency last year?
Do you remember the vile words, and accusations thrown about during the referendum campaign? Mockery is the norm for political leaders Tory, Labour, Liberal, UKIP they all get it.
Even prospective world leaders get it, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton to name just two.
Surely we don’t have to agree with someone to show respect.
Our emergency services personnel often receive abuse, police are spat at, and verbally and physically abused.
Firefighters have bricks thrown at them while trying to put out fires, ambulances and are broken into or stolen for their drugs.
I have seen car drivers forcing their way in between funeral cars in their haste to get past.
There have been two incidences recently in Whitby that have shown a lack of respect.
One was an attempted break-in at St Mary’s Church, one of our staff team was locked inside when there was banging on the door, two voices were heard one male, one female.
The female was heard saying: “What are you doing?, you can’t break into a church?” He replied: “ That’s what they’re there for, whatever is in a church we can take”.
Thankfully the female outside talked him round.
Then again in St Mary’s only last week as I was leading the coffin and mourners into church for a funeral.
An elderly couple who had nothing to do with the funeral were blocking the way.
They had been insisting that they were entitled to look around the church regardless what was taking place. Surely a little bit of respect for the funeral party should have been shown.
The Bible says “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.”
Even the great thinkers of our world understood respect.
Albert Einstein once said: “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
When we lose respect, we lose everything that makes us human.
God Bless you all.