Friday, October 30, 2009

The dead shall be raised

My mother, at 98 the last of eight siblings - six brothers and a sister, has a favorite hymn: "When We All Get to Heaven." I was reminded of her and it by John Mark Reynolds's post "Not Afraid of the Dead" at Evangel — partly because of his reference to West Virginia of which she is a native, and her church there which, like many older churches, is next to its graveyard.
.... Christianity has never been afraid of the dead. In my homeland of West Virginia many a country church is near a graveyard. Families can arrive at the church to hear the Gospel while passing by those family members who have “gone before.” We were not afraid of the dead, we honor them, and I remember family picnics held in lovely old grave yards. ....

Funerals were sad when I was growing up, but also hopeful. “Her next waking thought will be with Jesus...” the pastor would say and so while we mourned for our loss, we rejoiced in her gain. We could honor the corpse, because it had once housed her soul and would do so again! ....

I rejoice that some sweet day: “The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend” even so it is well with my soul! [more]
Not Afraid of the Dead » Evangel | A First Things Blog

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