Those shiny headstones!

If you’ve been by Salem lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in a portion of the cemetery.  Recently, the Cemetery Committee contracted a company to clean the headstones in one of our older sections.  This section is right beside the road as you enter the church facility.  Unless you’re REALLY not paying attention, you can’t miss it.  I notice it every day as I pull into my parking spot, because those headstones that used to be much darker, those headstones that were sometimes hard to read, are now sparkling white and shine like the sun.

It reminds me of Matthew 13:43: Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Those shiny headstones remind me of the promise of resurrection.  Death will not win.  Death will not hold us – but God will.  Those sparkly headstones bring a smile to my face every time I drive by, because Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

But those shiny headstones also remind me of the saints still living today – they remind me of you.  Earlier in Matthew’s story we hear this: You are the light of the world.  The light of Christ shines brightly whenever we, the body of Christ, engage in good works and love our neighbor.  Jesus has called us, the body of Christ, to be his hands, feet, and voice in a world full of brokenness.  And I see that over and over again in you.  I see it at the food pantry each month, I see it on Sunday mornings, I see it in our quilters, our young people, at Valley Mission, and special ministry events.

So thank you.  Thank you for letting us see this light – not just in a cemetery, but in the smiling faces of God’s people out-in-the-world engaged in mission and ministry for the glory of God.

He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

In God’s peace, Pastor Derek