Today, if he had lived to see it, my only brother Andrew would have been 70 years old. I cannot let it pass without a few moments of reflection.
He died four calendar years ago, aged 66 years old.
I have not yet reached the 70-year milestone, being three years younger all his lifetime, upon which he was not slow to capitalise until in my late teens I became strong enough to hold him down in a fight!
However, I have reached 66, when I began to received my delayed State Pension, happier news than that inauspicious day the year before when the world stock market’s began to fall in response to the 2020-2021 coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, I am hastening onwards towards 67 years old next month; another useful blogpost will mark that milestone, God willing.
70 years old
A few years ago, my family and close friends celebrated this happy milestone for a certain grand lady in my household.
“Threescore and ten years” is often said to be man’s ‘allotted span’, derived from Ps 90:10, but this opinion is based more on observation than upon Bible exegesis.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength they become fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away.”Moses writing in Psalm 90, verse 10.
Ps 90:10 was Moses’ observation while the children of Israel were in their wilderness journey out of Egypt, journeying towards the promised land in Israel. Moses himself reached 120 years Deu 34:7.
With improved nutrition and medical treatment the average lifespan in civilised societies is rising, with more centenarians being recorded even now in Britain, because the Queen sends birthday greetings to each person reaching 100 years old. This will continue and there is no exegetical nor contextual reason for thinking that this describes man’s ‘allotted span’. Indeed, during the biblical Millennium infant mortality will be more or less abolished and people will live regularly beyond 100 years old Isa 65:20. The world has not yet reached this happy period, and meanwhile 70 years old it is still a significant milestone and we have no promise that we will reach it.
Looking at my file on my brother Andrew I note that he was converted on 25/5/1972, when he was 20 y/o, and a few days after he was converted he invited me to attend a more evangelical church than the one in which I was reared in Glasgow. So began my own religious odyssey, which I have never regretted.
I have happy memories of ‘big bruvver’. You can read some more about this here.