Cemeteries, Christian, Death, faith, Presbyterian Church (USA), Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for October 12,2017

I like walking through old cemeteries. To me they are a kind of library. As I walk among the markers I read biographies; a name, a date of birth and of death. Sometimes an inscription tells of a profession, or whether they were the a son or daughter, husband or wife.  Some died in war. Some in youth, some in old age. Each has a story to tell. At times you sense the tragedy of a whole family, church and village. I saw this once in a small church cemetery. A mother and three of her children died of cholera within days of each other in the 1850s. I grieved for the husband and father left behind.
In the picture above it looks as if the dead look down upon the living in the city below. Maybe they do. “Good people dear as you pass by, On my cold grave do cast and eye  As you are now so once was I,   As I am now so shall you,  Prepare for death and follow me.”

Jesus once told a story about a man who never had enough. No matter how much he had, he wanted more. One night the Angel of Death took his hand.  “Tell me,” Jusus asked, who does his stuff belong to now?” (Luke 12:16-21)

“Th each is to number our days,” the Psalmist wrote, “that we might gain a heart of wisdom.  “ (90:12) A glimpse of grace. 

May that glimpse of grace be our prayer, too.

Christian, Death, devotion, Easter, Funeral, Luke, Gospel of, Presbyterian Church (USA), Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for July 11, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Common Daily Lectionary: Luke 23: 56b-24:12

Text:  “Why do you look for the living among dead? He is not here, but has risen.” (v. 5b)

I have officiated at nearly 1000 funerals and graveside services during my ministry. That is a lot of sorrow, a lot of tears, and a lot of empty places at dinner tables. Without exception, every family has been very kind and gracious to me. At the service I remind the worshipers of the women’s story when they went to the tomb on that first Easter. Today text are the words spoken by  the “two men in dazzling clothes” who stood beside them. Their next words to the women were, “Remember how”.

Remember how …

The greatest legacy that we leave behind as we pass from this Reality into the Next Reality is the memories, the stories that we leave in our wake, the ones that begin with, “Remember how”, or when, or where.

I believe that we create memories every day, either consciously or unconsciously. I believe that more often than not the memories that “stick” come about serendipitously, totally unplanned. I believe that when we wake up each morning we have some power to decide whether we are going to serve God by serving others or serving ourselves, whether we will live large or small lives.

I don’t know a lot because I am rather simple, but I do know that I have officiated at too many funerals to take any day or any one for granted. I know that each day and each moment and each person is a gift and a wonder. Therefore, I am thankful more often than not. How about you?

Lord, teach me to number my days so that I can gain a heart of wisdom, true wisdom. Amen.  (based on Psalm 90, verse 12)