Bible, Main, Opinion, Teaching
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Who Died and Who Didn’t


Folsom Prison, California Credit: Vidor/Wikipedia and Charles Manson Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Wikipedia

Folsom State Prison, Folsom, California final stop of notorious mass murderer Charles Manson (right) Credit: Folsom Prison, Vidor/Wikipedia and Charles Manson, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Wikipedia

David Cassidy was the poster boy for teenage girls around the world, about thirty years ago. He has lived a show-business life, with failed marriages and a serious addiction to alcohol. In 2015 he declared bankruptcy. On November 19 2017, the news came out that he was in a coma, with multiple organ failures, and his family was gathering at the hospital. The doctors said he didn’t have long.

This morning, November 20, the news is that David Cassidy has regained consciousness and he is very much alive. If his condition improves so that he can see a computer screen, he can read on the Internet that he died yesterday. Someone posted information about his death, in anticipation. I don’t know how much time he has with us, but good for him, he outlived his obituary.

One person who did die yesterday, at the age of 83, in Bakersfield California, is Charles Manson. This is confirmed; born November 12 1934 and died November 19, 2017.

This was a truly terrible man, responsible for the deaths of many innocent people. I don’t want to make him more famous by repeating some of the gruesome things that he did, but his passing is good news.

Some of his quotations are: “You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody’s crazy.” and “We’re not in Wonderland anymore Alice.” and “If you’re going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy.”

Also on Sunday, November 19, we visited a church out in the suburbs. We like this group, but we live too far away to attend every Sunday. A few years ago, when we found this church, it operated in an industrial area, across the road from a truck stop. Now they rent space in a movie theatre.

This a humble group of Christians, with no stained-glass cathedral, or snooty attitude; and they have attracted enough people to fill the theatre. We were a few minutes late and we had to climb the stairs to the back rows and the auditorium is large.

I expected to see the pastor at the front, but someone else made the announcements, and he had to stop to keep himself from crying. The pastor of that church, George Carothers, died November 7. He went to the doctor on September 7 and he was gone two months later.

This was a good man, in my experience. With his wife, he had built a very healthy church from a rented warehouse near a freeway. I used to visit to see if they were still there. They always were, and I hope they will continue for many more years. They have put good things into the lives of many people.

Death is a dark topic, but it can teach us about life.

“A good name is better than a good ointment, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7: 1 and 2)

Imagine being so terrible that people are happy when you die. That takes years of practice.

Also imagine being so good that people feel lost without you.

And you don’t have to imagine this; imagine having one more day to get it right. That is you and me, and David Cassidy. I trust that God will give David Cassidy the chance to make things better, to brighten his corner, in the time he has left.

So why are we here, you and me? What good thing still needs to be done, and what dark corner needs our light? We are here because so much needs to be done.

And if you have lost someone recently, I hope that you will know God’s comfort, in this world that has no answer for death. That is a terrible lesson, but after you have learned it, there are people everywhere who can learn from you.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14: 16 and 17)

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