Tuesday, September 9, 2014


USA Today reported this morning about the Joan Rivers funeral that it was ‘quintessential New York.’  The service included a eulogy by Howard [Shock Jock] Stern and the music of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.  One attendee said, “It felt like a Broadway show with tons of humor, lots of tears, and ended with a standing ovation.”  In Rivers’ 2012 book, I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me, she wrote that she wanted a ‘red carpet and sobbing Meryl Streep’ at her funeral.  Once again, as with the recent death of comedian Robin Williams [by his own hand], there has been an avalanche of tweeted tributes and hundreds of bouquets of flowers placed by her name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.   But, let’s be honest…isn’t all this celebration pretentious?  Isn’t it just an elaborate denial of reality to make people feel better about death? 
Being born into a Jewish family, Joan Rivers chose to fall in line with her biological father’s religious heritage.  Throughout her life of 81 years, she joked a lot about her religion.  Many faiths have definitive teachings about the afterlife.  But, in answer to the question “What happens after we die?” the Torah, Judaism’s most important religious text, is surprisingly silent.  Nowhere does it discuss the afterlife in any detail.  In the Jewish faith there is just no definitive explanation for what happens after we die.  As a result, Joan Rivers lived and died without hope…because there is no hope in the Jewish faith except maybe looking forward to the [first] coming of Messiah.  Jews rejected and crucified Jesus, despising him because he claimed to be the Son of God.  Jews today reject Jesus as the Messiah.  Sadly, as a result, Joan Rivers never professed faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. 
The apostle John said of Jesus, “Whoever has the Son of God has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  This statement is impossible to misunderstand.  It is considered by anyone and everyone to be either true or false…either believed or disbelieved.  And the only way to life everlasting is to confess with your lips and back it up with obedience…“I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  And I trust Him as my only Savior and Lord.
Pray with me…Father, we pray for the millions who are not in a saved relationship with You through Jesus Christ Your Son.  We pray for those who are in love with this present world and so are alienated from You.  As Your disciples, may we find them, one by one and make disciples of them one by one.  We Your children say with the Psalmist in 116:15,“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful servants.”  In the Name of Jesus, amen.

Pastor Ken

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