Thought for the Day - Rev Joel Edwards - 01/08/2012

Good morning

The spirit of the late Sir Jimmy Savile was alive and well in the Savile Hall in Leeds two days ago when personal items were sold to benefit his favourite charities.

In a 12-hour sale over 350 items raised £330,000 for charity. Rolex and Roles Royce, shades and shirts all went under the hammer to help out the needy. Even from beyond the grave, it seems, Jim was still fixing it in what one journalist described as his ‘final act of charity.’

But it wasn’t just the cash which raised the headlines. It was something about the man himself, which stoked the interest and created the sales pitch as most of the articles sold above their evaluation.

Savile’s charitable lifestyle exemplified the idea that whatever we actually own in life, our deeds may speak louder and longer.

As Jesse Jackson the civil rights cleric once said, “Death is an inescapable reality but good deeds live forever.”

The Old Testament account of the first family feud carries the same idea. When God showed his preference for Abel’s sacrifice, his brother Cain became envious and killed him. But in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the writer has a fascinating take on the whole event. “By faith,” he says, “Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”

What we believe - and do about it - lingers after we’re gone.

There is after all, something enduring about acts of kindness which Savile captured in his lifetime. He threw himself across our television screens spilling humour, eccentricity and goodwill over viewers and participants alike. His career had its ups and downs and he certainly wasn’t everyone’s favourite character. But even so, the man ran more than 200 marathons and raised over £40m for charity.

All our expressions of human kindness creates small reservoirs in which other people may also flourish. And the wealth we derive from their happiness is a reminder that in the words of Jesus, our lives should never really be measured by the abundance of things we possess.

Anyone who took away a memorabilia on Monday should remember that a life worth living is lived for others.

It’s loving your neighbor as yourself.

And even if you don’t become famous, perhaps you can still be famously kind.

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