“Good morning Beautiful,” was the way Paul Drake always greeted Della Street, not a sexual harassment, but a statement of truth between two friends. Perry’s office officially closed with her passing this year. The guilty until Perry can prove them innocent will have to find solace elsewhere. Joe Mannix has also retired, someone else will have to take the beatings to find his clients innocent. Fees variable, sometimes optional. Robin will be going to the Batpole alone from now on, the Caped Crusader, made his last trip down it into eternity. Wally’s Filling Station has gone to self serve now, both Gomer and Goober are gone, “shazzam!” Say hey to Andy for me. I hope that some were able to find something to laugh about at Mary Richard’s funeral, she did at Chuckle’s the Clown’s, after the last time Mr. Fe Fi Fo fell down on his fu fu. Or maybe you remember her better as Laura Petry, “oh Rob....” The Tate residence is now without a butler, as Benson has gone on, too. Who will fix the Major’s meals now? Joanie Cunningham leaves behind a brother or two, or was it three? Do you remember the two Chucks? Then Came Bronson rode off and now will never return....Jeff Spencer, leaves behind a beautiful widow, Ann-Margret, and a list of clients, the doors locked at 77 Sunset Strip forever. Kookie will have to lend his comb to someone else. No one will be around to keep Robin Master’s estate in line, as Higgins is gone, I just can’t see Magnum feeding the lads, can you? “Hokey smoke,” the voice of Rocky will never be heard again. And a whole new generation of movie goers will be introduced to Turner Classic Movies by a new host, I will miss “Hi, I’m Robert Osborn,” who brought some class to the old movies I love the most. Finally the original Rhinestone Cowboy rides off into the sunset, the Wichita lineman no longer on the line. Who will insult us and have us loving it no that CPO Sharkey has gone ashore for good?
Characters that have become friends from watching them on TV for years, some for generations, now are gone. We can only wish them Godspeed now, as behind each character portrayed, was a real person, many we never got to know, and many different than the one they played. But thanks to reruns, Gomer will still be chasing after Barney yelling “citizens arrest, citizens arrest,” Bruce Wayne will still take care of a young Dick Grayson, Mary Richards will still be making a nothing day seem worthwhile. They may be gone, but will live on as long as there are reruns, and an audience to watch them. Maybe a better time capsule of history than the textbooks read now, a true look at the cars, the styles, the prices, and a way life left behind. Something the disciples had to face when Jesus was crucified....
Without reruns, Netflix, or MeTV, they had to depend on the holy spirit to take the message of Jesus Christ to the next generation. It was up to them to spread the gospel as they had heard it and seen it. There were no made up for TV audience stories, no mini-series, or season ending cliff hangers, they lived a life that no drama could ever duplicate, that no screenwriter could express. But we find it in scripture, as in Acts we see the church born and emerging. We read Paul’s letters and see x-rated persecution, that would only be found on late night HBO. Special effects may be able to duplicate a man walking with two men, then suddenly gone, or a voice from heaven giving Paul directions. The manger would be a Holiday Inn, or Marriott, some would play Joe and Mary, but who would play Jesus? You see there are those that act for a living, but Jesus was who he said he was, no one can ever play him. No one would go to the cross for those that hated him, choose a bunch of losers socially and mold them into the team that would be responsible for spreading the gospel. No curtain calls for Stephen, the 7 sons of Skeva, Titus, Timothy, or Dr. Luke. They were real, and the story they tell today is from the best selling book of all times. The first book to be printed, that has never had to go into reruns, the original cannot be replaced.
But we know these men and women of the Bible only as written, we never got to know what kind of home Job’s wife ran, what Martha and Mary did when not entertaining celebrities, we never see Paul make a tent, or Peter catch fish. We never sit in on with James and John as they plan to overthrow the government, never see Luke make a house call, or Matthew collect taxes. We forget they were all people too, and had the same problems we face, and how Jesus changed their lives, and how he changes ours. No script to read from, this was life, and living. We never even get to see Jesus grow up, go to preschool, go out for any team, or have to do his homework. Yet we think we know so much about him from what is written, yet we know so little. Fortunately we will have heaven to get to know him perfectly....
So with the passing of this year, we have lost many in real life, but the legend of their characters live on. Does the character of Jesus live in your life? Or is he a Sunday drama or even a sitcom? Is he a documentary, a mini-series, or a greatest hits album? Did you miss him the first time around and are waiting for the sequel? Or is he just a character in a book? Get to know him today, and start living, don’t wait for the movie, get to know the author. No signed editions, no DVD collection, he is alive via his spirit for all who are tuning in, his message going out all over the globe. Are you tuned in? Tuning in....if only we let Jesus into our lives as we did all these people every week.
This is my last posting of 2017, so I will say thanks for all the prayers and support. But mostly to my editor and publisher, Jesus Christ, whom I write to everyday. You get a glimpse of my letters to him, don’t miss out on the letters he has for you. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and “say goodnight Gracie...” his grace will be sufficient next year too.
love with compassion,
ps...and lest we forget, Princess Leia, Patty Lane, Martin Lane, Carol Brady, Napoleon Solo, Jason Seaver, Wilbur Post, Dennis Becker, Zacherle, Fish/Tessio, Schneider, and Grizzly Adams. People we know best in character. Whoever said there was nothing to watch on TV?