Farewells (Crikey, Steve Irwin, Peter Brock, Finals Footy)
The world moans at the news of Steve Irwin's passing. He lived with energy and died with energy as a stingray lashed out in a freakish accident ending the 44 year old's tenure as Crocodile Hunter, and father of two, husband of one, and legend to many. The accident took place at the Great Barrier Reef.
Irwin was on location in the area to film television segments, including material for “The Ocean’s Deadliest.” Witnesses on his boat, Croc One, and on a nearby diving vessel said that when he came close to a stingray, its barb pierced his chest and lodged in his heart.
Also Australia farewells Peter Brock, famed Aussie race driver and mentor of Australia's Olympic sides in Sydney and Athens. He also was on the Board of Collingwood Magpies football club.
Brock, 61, the son of a mechanic and a nine-time winner of the Bathurst 1000 during the 1970s and 80s, died instantly in the crash. He was the star attraction of the second Targa West rally, held in bushland near the small community of Gidgegannup, 40km east of Perth.
The accident happened about 10km into the 13km leg of the first stage of the rally, which started in the morning and was due to run all weekend.
In Brisbane, last weekend a massive crowd of 47,193 turned out in warm conditions at Lang Park for the match which was marketed as the fans' chance to say goodbye to veteran prop Shane Webcke. The Brisbane, Queensland and Australian prop announced earlier in the year that this season would be his last.
One of the most popular players at the Broncos, he received a standing ovation as he led the team out before the match. After the match, the big prop told ABC Grandstand he was humbled by the fact that so many fans had turned out for the match. "I'm just absolutely flabbergasted by it," he said.
Tonight at SunCorp stadium Brisbane welcomes the Dragons for Webcke's final final at the home ground.
We farewell those we love and we will not be seeing anymore. We attribute memorials to them and rename highways and trophies and even stadia in their honour. And all that is appropriate. After all this weekend marks the 5th anniversary of 9.11, the tragic attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the USA.
Probably the most notable memorial and honoured farewell symbol in the world, the most recognizable icon globally, is the cross. A simple two stick figure of varied proportions, but known worldwide as the execution location of the Jew Jesus.
It was about 2,000 years ago when the humble carpenter from Galilee was put on the cross by Roman soldiers and executed for sedition. It marked the end of a noble career in preaching by the almost-rabbi who preached about the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Then in a twist of history, after nearly 40 hours in the tomb, miraculously he arose from the dead. And appeared to 500 Jewish people over 40 days, who saw him, who ate with him, who received correction and forgiveness from him. It was amazing!
And it's believable.
We farewell the man who gave us the 'crikey' and adventure with snakes and crocs. We farewell Brockie whose family accepted the offer of a State Funeral today. And we farewell Webcke and all those for whom the 2006 season is their last.
And we thank God that Y'shua, Jesus the Messiah, for whom farewells were painful, rose from the dead and offers eternal life to all those who put their trust in Him.Will you be one of those?