Our disease took another life. It snuffed this man out at age 60 with cirrhosis. It left behind a lovely sweet wife, a daughter and her family (4 grandkids) and ALOT of friends, based on the number of people at the funeral yesteday. One good thing that came of this is that he understood what happened, that his choices had done this to him and he made peace with God before departing us. He did finally "get it" even if it was too late to save himself. Perhaps he's saved another. I know he went along way to helping save me, by reminding me of one simple fact. "There, but for the Grace of God, go I."
The Pastor gave a nice talk about God's saving Grace and how God loves us as we are, unconditionally. He spoke about us not needing to "earn" our way to His side after we pass. He spoke about how God's Grace is out there for us all even though we may not "deserve" it. It's not about us and how we deserve it or not. It's about God's Goodness and how He gives us His Grace regardless, because He Loves us all, regardless of how we've behaved, regardless of what we've done. I was definitely "drinking kool-aid" and hearing the Message. I do however believe a little differently... I believe that we can throw away our chance to be with God for all eternity if we do not follow his Commands as best we can, if we do not "deny his very self, take up his cross each day and follow in my steps." Luke 9:23.
Making it to Heaven is not (in my belief) a "right" or a "guarantee." I can mess that up. But by the same token, it's not some carrot God just dangles out there for us if we do enough good works and complete the "to do list." Making it to the warm embrace of HP, at the end of this life comes as a result of having lived right and done my best to deny my earthly self, do what's right and follow the lead of HP. God gave us the gift of free will. He also gave us his Commandments and His only Son to help us see the best way to proceed back to Him. It's still up to us to make the choice. Thankfully, He envelopes us in His Grace and His Enduring Love each and every step of the way. He's there even when we get off track, especially then. But it's still up to us to choose the path back. (i.e.: confession/reconciliation/absolution/receipt of God's Grace)
Yesterday, amidst all the business of my day, I got to attend this funeral. At the end of my day, I was priviledged at CCD to help my Jr High kids prepare for and participate in Reconciliation/Confession. It was a well connected HP kinda day to say the least. I had alot to reflect upon...