IN OUR rapidly changing world it appears that nothing stands still or is a certainty.

Technological and Scientific discoveries have revolutionised the way many of us think and live. However, there is still one certainty that we cannot avoid: we all face death.

As a boy growing up in a small Yorkshire town, it was a standard joke that: 'the Cemetery was the dead centre of the town' and that 'people were dying to get into heaven'.

The boyish macabre jokes hid a realisation that death was not something to be discussed, particularly by children.

It wasn’t always the case – had we been born 100 years previously we would have been surrounded by death and aware of its consequences.

Death is such a sombre thought that we find many ways of forgetting about it.

However, when a member of the family, a colleague or someone famous dies it is a vivid reminder that it is something that will happen to 'me'.

One day I shall die.

Rather than ignoring this, we could take it as an opportunity to assess the way we are living:

Are we making the best of our lives?

Are we living our lives conscientiously?

Are our motives in life good ones and do we fulfil them?

Do we lead the Christian lives we profess to live by?

These are simple and fundamental questions that we could ask ourselves.

Whist these may be sobering thoughts as Christians to face death realistically, we should also know that it is a gateway to a new beginning and a fulfilment of human life.

For most people life is a mixture of joy and happiness punctuated with sorrow and sometimes despair.

Deep down we long for the peace, happiness and joy that, no matter how wealthy we are, seems to constantly elude us.

As Christians we believe that the fulfilment comes when we reach our final destination where we are united with the God who made us in his own image.

We should not be fearful of death, but welcome it when it comes.

Dying is a holy thing, made so by Him who died that we might live.