"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It occurred to me today that there is a strange optimism about graveyards. Putting up a monument, no matter how small, requires the fundamental belief that there will be another generation to come and see. Engraving a name, a date, a few words of description demand that we acknowledge that a single person made a difference, no matter who may remember him. The inscriptions assume that someone will want to know who lies here. None of these things are for the dead. Their bodies decay and they will one day be resurrected, re-made incorruptable. Cemetaries are not about who is buried there, but who walks among the stones; they are not about who has gone before but about who is yet to come. But perhaps, the past and the future are not so separable as one might think.
(For the curious, this is a snap of St. Matthew's burying grounds, Baden, PA.)