No doubt for many people Christmas 2016 was overshadowed by the death of Status Quo guitarist and vocalist Rick Parfitt on Christmas Eve, and the sudden and unexpected death of George Michael on Christmas day. There’s a sense, that something pulls us up short when rich and famous people, or in this case musicians, died before their time whether we’d been a fan of them or not!
There’s no doubt that in the past Rick Parfitt’s lifestyle left a lot to be desired. His heart problems were well documented and some years ago he had undergone a massive heart bypass. However, I for one admired Status Quo’s work ethic with their constant touring and it seemed that Rick had managed to adopt a healthier lifestyle until a heart attack during a concert earlier in the year. But George Michael’s death comes as a complete shock. By his own admission, he adopted a lifestyle that was liable to be dangerous and one that could invite health problems due to its promiscuous nature. He had also had issues with drug use. However, his music brought joy to many people and his death typifies the tragedy of a life cut short!
Although my sympathy goes out to their families and friends, it strikes me that for the rest of us this is good opportunity to reflect on where we stand at this point in our lives. I know this is a bit unsubtle, but are we ready to die? In other words, have we taken our mortality seriously? After all, if this proves anything, it proves none of us can be sure how long we have got left. The Bible has some good advice concerning this:
‘Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ” I find no pleasure in them”‘ ( Ecclesiastes 12:1).
The bottom line is this, it doesn’t matter whether we’re counted among the great and good in this world or whether we are counted as rich or poor. What we do now in terms of our attitude and the lifestyle we adopt matters! The writer of Ecclesiastes concludes on an ominous note:
‘Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed to judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
But the message of Christmas is one that can last all year. There is a possibility of reconciliation with a holy God who should, by rights, judge us and banishes us from the goodness of his presence to a place where all the benefits we see of his ‘common grace’ are removed. This would leave us with a future of no-hope whatsoever! But Jesus has obtained something that should be impossible, but is made possible only through his life, death and resurrection when we seek his forgiveness!
‘Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your mind because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation’ (Colossians 1:21-22).
If you would like to know more as to how this might be possible, you can order a free booklet from me on our Any Questions? page
 Gay and Lesbian Times, 10 August 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2009.