Happy (belated) Memorial Day!
All these updates are covered in the YouTube video linked at the end of this post. This week we had our second donation pickup from ARC. We were able to offload a number of larger items, as shown below.
We also paid a visit to the graves of our four parents. Shown below is Golden cemetery, with the graves of David and Marlene DeCamp.
J.D. and Adelaide Owens are buried at Crown Hill cemetery in Wheat Ridge.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about visiting a cemetery specifically to leave flowers, etc. at the graves of loved ones. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but it always seems a bit pointless to me. They aren’t there. It feels like leaving flowers on the doorstep of someone who you know is not home and won’t be there to get them. However, visiting the graves does give me a chance to reflect on things and here’s what I thought about during these visits.
- Visiting and decorating the graves of your parents, really, is a way of continuing fulfillment of the 5th commandment, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). This is not a time-bound commandment, but is God’s expectation of us for all time and in all circumstances. Whatever your relationship is with your parents, you are still expected to honor them in a God-honoring manner. If you think about it, the first 4 commandments are about our relationship to God, and the last 6 are about our relationship to other people in a manner that continues to focus on God and honoring Him. Hence our motivation is not to just not commit adultery, steal, etc. but to do so because that’s God’s expectation of us and to obey those commandments is to give the honor and glory that is due to Him.
- Another thing I thought about during these visits was the story in Ezekiel 37. Ezekiel was a prophet in Israel during the time of their Babylonian exile. He wrote, “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord‘ (vss. 1-4).” Ezekiel obeyed and prophesied (spoke the word of God) over the bones, and they began to re-articulate themselves, growing flesh and skin. Then God said, “’Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army” (vss. 9-10).
This story is a beautiful picture, as God further explains to Ezekiel in that chapter, of God’s salvation of His people. All of us are sinners and unable/unworthy to dwell with God in heaven in our current state. The Bible reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24). Our justification (forgiveness) comes because Jesus paid the price (redemption) demanded by our sin (for the wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23a), and those who trust their lives to Jesus are forgiven their indebtedness (but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23b).
That is the gospel that Christians bear testimony to. We prophesy (preach God’s Word) to a people (all of humanity) who are indebted to God for their sinfulness and have earned their wages of death. We preach God’s Word so that hearers can have the breath of God revive them and give them eternal life. Watch my video below and you’ll see/hear Lauren Daigle’s wonderful song about Dry Bones.