2006 Ends In A Picture Of Death!

Watching the ceremonies as a former US President is laid to rest -- you can't help notice the contrast between this beautiful fairwell, and the horrible departure of the former head of state of another country, as he is sent away as a man not fit to walk the face of the earth.

It's been a week of death: first the musician James Brown, whose claim to fame is his marvelously popular song, "I Feeeeeeeeeel Good!" -fitting for the way he lived his life. Then right after his death, Gerald Ford dies, a humble and a good man who brought healing to our country during one of our dark times as a nation. And then Saddam Hussein, called "the butcher of Baghdad," who brought horror and grief to countless of his countrymen.

An amazing juxtaposition of three lives, three men departing this earth, each having brought a different kind of influence, and one wonders, probably reaching dissimilar fates.

It can't be overlooked that the year 2006 ends with a stark, three-fold picture of death. It's almost as though the picture is being thrust before us, forcibly being brought to our attention: "here are three men, three lives leaving the earth, three men going to the finality of the eternity that suits them." Isn't it interesting, intriguing, that that's the picture before all of us as this year comes to an end!

I wonder what these three encountered at the moment of their deaths. Two of them lived for themselves, for fame, for power, for wealth. The other inherited the presidency of the United States of America unexpectedly, never having aspired to that position, but taking over during a time of scandal and great dishonor to the office, and turning it around by his mere goodness, and restoring honor to the presidency.

This year is closing with a picture beckoning us: what mark will we make during our lives? Will we leave the earth having been a blessing, or a curse? having attained positions of power and name and wealth, or having never been known, perhaps doers of good without applause, without notice, without payment, or fame, or even desire for it.

I suspect that with the theme of death being so stark, so obvious in the way this year closes, perhaps we're being warned that we're entering perilous times in our world, probably more perilous than most have any idea, and that it's of vital importance to decide where we stand, for good or for evil, for ourselves or for God, for money or for entertainment, or for service to our Creator. For many of us will stand before him in the not distant future, and answer to him for the choices we made, the lifestyles we lived, and the effects we had on the lives of men.

But there's another death which was suffered, suffered willingly by One greater than all these, by one who "endured such contradiction of sinners against himself." The most important thing in life, the most important decision we will EVER make, is our response to this one's gift which offers us the salvation God procured at such a price, and which changed the destinies of men. This death was the most condescending gift of mercy ever conceived, given freely for "whosoever will" receive him, but which most ignore.

Perhaps knowing what is shortly to come upon the earth, God is presenting to us a picture of death in order to bring our attention to the subject, and to persuade us that it is of vital importance, it is crucial, that we consider this picture before us and think on it. Because if one truly ponders the meaning of what's before us, then one can't avoid thinking of his own death, and what his destiny will be. The Messiah, the Christ, the son of God suffered death for us, and our destinies depend on our response to him, which cannot be an approving nod, that's not going to be enough, it has to be an encounter with him resulting in a personal "born again" experience which he died to offer you and me, and said that unless one has this experience he cannot perceive, nor in any way understand the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3) This is one death that men ignore foolishly, because this life is short, and the one to come long. There is nothing more important than making sure of where that will be lived.

"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."
Joel 3:14


groovyoldlady said...

Paula, this is a beautifully written article. You need to submit it somewhere for publication!

P Maillet said...

Thanks, Sherry. I knew when I wrote it that it was from the Lord.

KC said...

May the Lord Come Quickly. The yr of the '7' looks good for his return.

I keep telling him the gene pool needs cleaning.

P Maillet said...

Boy, is that right on! I'm preparing a post right now which goes right along with that. Stay tuned, it will be up in a few minutes.

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