August 7, 2013

No graves, no museums

We walked through part of Arlington Cemetery yesterday and watched the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I wondered if he had a wife who mourned? Or left children without a dad? Were his parents told? Or did they wonder until they died what happened to their son?

We also walked along the Vietnam Memorial with more than 53,000 names engraved in marble, I also thought about the spouses left behind and the tears of sorrow for families as they realized their sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers were gone from them. Hundreds, even thousands died in war. These were sobering scenes.

This morning, I read these verses about my beloved Jesus, to whom I have been betrothed, and think about the realities of this union and how He will never leave me or forsake me. This is wonderful, yet does not dull the pain of those who mourn the deaths of their earthly spouse.

My beloved is mine, and I am his…. I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me. (Song of Solomon 2:16, 7:10)

I feel humbled to be part of the Bride of Christ. He has blessed me with a deep sense of His love, of belonging to Him. He offers me all that He has that I might live in peace and joy. There will be no gravestones that separate us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35–39)

Today we go back to that area of DC and have a look at part of the Smithsonian. A couple of days will give us only a small glimpse of what mankind has collected and marked as historically valuable. As I walk through the immense buildings, I will remember what is important to God. He created people to be in intimate relationship with Him, to know and enjoy Him forever. He sent His Son to die so we could be forgiven our sin and become pure and holy, a bride fit for this heavenly Bridegroom.

The stuff we collect, the lives that we live, are important, but not nearly so valuable as our eternal souls because all that stuff and all those lives eventually wind up in museums or graveyards, or even in places marked “unknown” -- whereas the souls that are united to Him can look forward to becoming imperishable and spending an eternal honeymoon with Jesus. 

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