Rick Floyd, in his recent post on the death of Michael Jackson and the culture of celebrity, includes this insightful claim:
‘The church’s notion of the faithful dead as the communion of saints (see my Mystic Sweet Communion) has been replaced in popular culture by the cult of dead celebrities whose lives for the most part serve more as cautionary tales than good examples’.
Too true. This reminded me of Camus’ definition of culture as ‘the cry of men in face of their destiny’. Still, Jackson’s death is both a tragedy (even in Camus’ sense of that word) and a reminder that in the most unCamus-like economy of grace, hope hopes in the redemption who comes on the other side. For it is the triune God – and not Michael Jackson, and still less that army of fans and critics that he left behind – who has, in Jesus Christ, made the final call on this man’s life, and fate.
Yes, Jackson’s chapter is included in that growing book of ‘cautionary tales’, but that book is not the last in the series.