What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?
For those in my generation, you probably remember the cheesy Tombstone pizza commercials…no pun intended!
What do you want on your tombstone?
Every Easter weekend I have a chance to look at many tombstones from my ancestors and even complete strangers that happen to be buried near them.
I used to accompany my grandparents to Old Salem’s graveyard, known as God’s Acre. We would clean the flat, white stones with Comet cleaner and place flowers on the graves of my great-grandparents.
We would also put flowers on the grave of my grandmother’s uncle whom she never met. He died in a car accident in his early twenties not far from my home - 1913, I believe. Cars had barely been invented at the time!
Hard to believe he has been gone from this earth for almost 100 years and he still has descendants that think of him each Easter. He was the very dear brother of my great-grandmother, so the family has continued to honor his memory because of her love for him.
Now my dad and I take care of the graves of my grandparents, great-grandparents, and even my great-great-grandparents, as well as “Tob,” (short for Thomas) the beloved brother.
I must admit, I went a little picture crazy at the cemeteries on Saturday. God’s Acre in the Moravian graveyard is always the most special place because of my Moravian heritage and that now my grandparents are both buried there. It is breathtakingly beautiful and so tranquil. And there is so much history there!
When I think of the Rapture of the Church, I imagine it happening at God’s Acre…
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
How comforting is that?
Isn’t that really what Easter is all about? Worshiping a Savior who conquered death and knowing that we can also if we know Him personally and have accepted His gift of salvation.
Reading the stones is comforting for me also. Because it usually speaks to the faith of the one who is buried there, asleep in Jesus.
For instance, the stones for both of my grandparents read, “God is my Refuge and Strength.” - A plaque that decorated their living area for as long as I knew them. Incidentally, it now graces my living room wall.
But my most favorite stone that I’ve ever seen in any cemetery belongs to my own great-great-grandmother. “I am in my Savior’s hands. I am His and it’s alright.”
What peace and comfort that must have brought to her immediate family after her passing! What great joy to know here and now, that I will most likely meet her one day!
She certainly sounds like a woman of faith and a woman who loved the Lord! I would love to hear this amazing testimony of a mother who lived during the Civil War. I can’t help but wonder how God must have proved Himself faithful to her in those dark days… In fact, family history indicates that her mother died when she was only 3 days old and she was raised by her 14 year old sister. Tough times, indeed. Yet she appears to have endured and grown up to be a strong Christian woman.
What about you? What would you like on your tombstone?
Is there a special verse that illustrates your life? I would love to read your comments!
For me, there are several verses that I hold very dear. But my favorite has got to be Romans 8:28, “For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
What message would you like to speak to the generations to come, if the Lord should tarry? Perhaps one day it would be a silent witness to a great-great-grandchild that this life is not all there is.
It may seem morbid to some that we visit graveyards at Easter. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about new life, the anticipation of meeting Jesus in the clouds, and long awaited family reunions!
I hope that you all had a blessed Easter weekend! Still reflecting on the cross and what it all means to have a Savior who conquered the grave...
© Christy Long 2011. All Rights Reserved.