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Last Sunday many of us arrived home from church to horrifying news. We watched and mourned the passing of a retired professional basketball player. Kobe Bryant. Over the past few days, we began to learn more about the tragic accident that took his life, his daughter’s life, and the lives of many others dear to Kobe and his mission to influence the lives of young people through his program, the Mamba Sports Academy.
The death of Kobe Bryant hit so many very hard, especially those who were fans of the game and his career. His legacy and his life of determination inspired many. His passing is stirring because of his legacy but also because it reminds us that none of us are invincible. No matter how famous we are, no matter how much we have accomplished, no matter how much money we have, none of us can escape death or plan exactly how we will leave this world. We would often like to believe this isn’t true…. if not for us than at least for someone else who obtains fame, money, power and prestige. There is no insurance plan, workout routine, special pill or way of life that keeps us from death and pain. We were reminded harshly on Sunday morning that this is not the case. Unfortunately, we can not live in Game of Thrones telling the lord of death “not today”.
In the popular TV show, the daughter of a Lord spends much of her time learning to sword fight. Her teacher taught her a call and response sort of chant while practicing. When the teacher says, “what do we say to death,” the girl responds with, “Not today.” I love this phrase but none of us have the luxury of telling death when to show up or go away. We do have the power to say “not today”, to other things though. Although we do not have power over death, we do have power over some things.
This week in our scripture we come across a famous verse from the prophet Micah. This verse reminds me in many ways of Kobe Bryant and the life he led.
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God! This we can do! This we can do today! And to all the things that work to keep us from this goal we can say “not today.”
To pride….we say “not today”
To envy….we say “not today”
To worry….we say “not today”
To lying…..we say “not today”
To corruption…we say “not today”
None of us can escape death, but each of us can work daily to live the best life God has for us! We do this when we seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God! Knowing when we walk in this way a small piece of heaven finds its way to earth.
See you on Sunday,