The "hail and farewell" is an old military tradition in which soldiers and their families attend a ceremony to welcome new soldiers or leaders and to bid farewell to those who have died, retired, or are leaving the organization for some other reasons. The tradition is a symbol of the way life changes -- old faces leave and new faces come. Some who have been with us for a long time pass away even as new careers and families are started. And, yet, life goes on.
We saw an example of this at the beginning of this past week. A very well-respected businessman died at the age of 93. Samuel Truett Cathy was the founder of the popular Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant chain and a committed Christian. On the very day the world learned of his passing, the world also learned that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now expecting a second child -- a future heir to the throne of England.
It is easy for us to be swept along by the passing of time and the constant changes that take place in life without giving any thought to an existence beyond this physical, temporal one. But, as the Bible tells us in 1 John 2:17, this "world passeth away, and the lust [desires and cares] thereof..." Eventually, not only will each of us die, but the world that we live in will also pass away. These are not just biblical statements; even scientists have predicted that the world as we know it will one day come to an end.
However, the end of physical life and the end of the world, is not the end of existence. After we die, we will go somewhere. After this world passes away, a new world will be created in which all those who love God will live forever in peace and harmony. First John 2:17 goes on to say, "the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
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