Thought For The Week, by Tim Porter, September 25

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As I write this, the funeral has just taken place of Cilla Black, a much-loved lady, born out by the many thousands who lined her funeral route. Hers was a very humble beginning in a 2-bedroomed flat in “Scottie Road” in Liverpool but who rose to become famous for her singing and also to be acclaimed, some say, as the greatest TV presenter of all time!

I noted from the newspaper report that Sir Cliff had sung his song “O Faithful One” so I went online and listened to the recording. Wow! What a beautiful song! (I recommend you do the same!) It set me thinking about the similarities and also the contrasts between Cilla’s life and that of Jesus of whom Sir Cliff was singing.

He was born into even more humble circumstances than Cilla. He became famous for a while, healing the sick, freeing the demon-possessed, even raising the dead but his fame soon turned to infamy among the religious leaders as he spoke against their hypocrisy and pride. They sarcastically called him the “friend of sinners” and having inflicted horrendous torture upon him, cruelly crucified him, even though the Bible records “He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.” But it goes on: “He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins; He was beaten so that we could be whole.”

But, thank God, that was not the end. Sir Cliff sums it up in his song:

“But there’s an empty tomb and love for all who come,

And give their hearts to you, The Faithful One”