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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Rik Mayall (deceased).

I hesitate to write about the sudden, and apparently unexpected, death of anyone, least of all someone as well-known as the late Rik Mayall.  I also extend my sympathy to his family and closest friends, whose sense of loss is keenest at this time because their love was deepest, and most personal.

However, it is a reminder that, as is sometimes said, "We never know the minute"!  I suspect that if, yesterday morning someone had asked Rik Mayall if he thought that obituaries would be being written about him by the evening, he would have laughed.  After all, this is the man who had survived a bad crash on a quad-bike, and is reported as having said, when he regained consciousness after a time when his wife had been informed that the machines that had been keeping him alive for five days, would be switched off in an hour, "I've beaten Jesus Christ"!  This, apparently, referring to the fact that the accident occurred about Easter time.

Well, I am not here to judge the late Mr Mayall.  One Who is perfect in all His ways, and Who, alone, can dispense perfect justice, will do that.  I can only say that the newspaper reports (not that I believe everything that I read in newspapers!) that quote his own words - as opposed to the words that his 'characters' - would indicate that even that experience had not caused him to consider, deeply enough, what happens at the end of our mortal lives.

To some, of course, there is total annihilation - we simply cease to exist in any shape, manner, or form.  To others, we are judged according to our good works.  If we have enough of them to cancel out our bad deeds, then we are okay; if not, we are in trouble!  To yet others, we keep returning to this planet, in different forms dependent upon our previous life, until we eventually reach the stage at which we are able to be released from that cycle of life-death-rebirth, and are absorbed into the 'oneness' that is the universe.

The Christian Gospel is, I firmly believe, the only message that brings genuine peace at such a time.  It tells me, quite simply, that I can never earn enough 'good points' to gain eternal life in that dimension that we refer to, in the English language, as 'heaven'; or that we will ever achieve 'nirvana'.  Instead, it makes an offer - a stupendous offer!  It tells me that I am a sinner, without any hope in myself.  But it also tells me that the righteous Judge has already, in the Persona of the Son, paid the penalty for my sin.  What I need to do is to acknowledge that, and accept the salvation that is offered to me through, and in, Him.  I am then adopted into the family of Almighty God, the Creator, and Sustainer, of all that is and begin, here and now, the eternal life that is His life.

It''s an amazing offer - and it is an offer of love and grace and mercy.  If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment (that will not be published!) with a contact e-mail address, and I will be delighted to be of assistance.

"God loved the world so much, that He gave Himself, in the Persona of the Son, that anyone who places their trust in Him will not perish, but have, here and now, eternal life."

Then, and only then, will you be able to meet death, whenever it comes, knowing that you are in the One Who defeated it, almost 2,000 years ago.  Hallelujah!

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