Welcome to the electronic edition of the Penn of Denn. For more information on the ministries of Cornerstone Wesleyan Church check www.CornerstoneWesleyan.ca

When did people stop passing away? The other day I read a headline concerning the recent death of Natasha Richardson and it said, “Actress passes just days after ski accident.” She didn’t pass away, she just passed. Hmmmm? Did she pass away or did she pass through or did she pass over?

Sometimes it frustrates me that through some arbitrary change in the English language, we have to change the way we speak. With this new use of the word “pass”, what will we be trying to communicate when we tell a student, “I hope you pass this year”? Or what does it imply when you are offered something and you say, “No thank you, I think I’ll pass”? And you will want to be careful when you pass while driving.

From the beginning of time humanity has sought to sanitize the death process and soften the reality of mortality through language. When you stop and think about it, people haven’t died for years. But the latest linguistic gymnastics has a ring of truth because at the end of our lives we will all pass somewhere and each one of us will get to decide where that somewhere will be. Have a great week and remember: To see what is really possible, you will have to attempt the impossible.


My weekly messages from Cornerstone are now available as audio files at www.cornerstonewesleyan.ca/sermons


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