Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | July 26, 2014

July 26, 2014 “Peter Pan Personified”

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

Good morning Fellow Believers!

Last evening, I had opportunity to attend a community theater production of the musical “Peter Pan”, Jim Barrie’s classic story of the boy from Neverland determined to remain a child forever. I remember watching this production on television as a boy. Mary martin played the lead role, and it was always a treat to see whenever it was broadcast. I had not seen a production of it since those childhood days, but , having a particular bent towards music, I did remember most of the songs as they were sung. I think I felt rather like the character of Wendy as I watched the show. Though promising to remain a child, she inevitably grows old by the time Peter Pan comes to visit her once again. I remember my childhood with a wistful fondness. Even being back near my boyhood home brings those memories flooding back to me. The production, of all things, was presented in the Community Center that sits next to my boyhood home! Talk about nostalgia! But I look in the mirror and realize that I am not that child I was. My body also informs me otherwise each day. The reality of my mortality confronts me. It is a reality that fewer earthly days lie ahead of me than behind me.    Seeking to capitalize on this reality that is not just mine but part of the human condition, a myriad of “age-defying” products are now touted in the marketplace, all designed to give the appearance, at least, of youth and vitality. Skin creams, surgical treatments, dietary supplements, and the like, along with the ubiquitous “before and after” photos, fill those moments between our favorite TV shows, with the suggestion, at least, of eternal youth…Peter Pan Personified! 

But is aging and its inevitable conclusion, physical death, something to be avoided at all costs? Here we have the apostle Paul, who understood death’s reality perhaps better than most…here he is talking about life and death all in terms of his relationship with one Jesus Christ. He concludes with bold certainty, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul was not fearful of death, for he knew what it truly means to live! He did not always have that perspective. For him, it came later in his mortal journey. It came on a roadway he thought led to Damascus, but more importantly, to an encounter with the Source of all Joy…Jesus Christ.  Interestingly, even Peter Pan, the boy who had no intention of growing up, was not afraid to die. Facing his arch nemesis, Captain Hook, in a battle to the end, Peter Pan says,

“To die would be an awfully big adventure”

Are you afraid to die? If you know Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, those fears will fade as the years pass. To life is Christ. To die is gain, for in life and in death we belong to him. As his apostle John noted in the third chapter of his gospel, “whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.” Peter Pan Personified! Let’s pray!

O Blessed Lord; each day with you is better than a thousand elsewhere. Each day we live is a precious reminder of your grace, and the promise of our inheritance as children of the King of glory. Thank you for every blessing, and the great adventure that awaits us on the other side of the veil. May we live for You in the here and now that we may dwell eternally with you in the life to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

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