by Jack E. Dawson
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
A graveyard can be a place of sorrow and a place of hope. In this small cemetery beside the church we see a headstone with “CHRIST” engraved on it. At first glance it might appear that someone is saying Christ is dead. But a closer look proclaims the hope that “the dead in CHRIST will rise first.” This is the promise of the second coming of Jesus described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Ten Commandments and their fulfillment in Him are represented in the headstone. Can you see the image of Him standing confidently on the stormy sea below His name? The heart the stone forms depicts the great love of God that provides the way to Him through His Son. The clay pots beside it signify our earthly bodies, and the flowers in them symbolize Jesus, the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley…the One above all. Is your heart touched by the lighted cross surrounded by balloons reminding us that even the little ones are in His care? The crown of thorns among the flowers in the lower right corner reminds us of His suffering in His journey to the Cross. The path in the form of a “J” attests that truly He is the Way. “Perhaps Today” is the topic for the day at the little church. When the trumpet sounds, people like those in the field will be going about their lives as usual. All those who have placed their faith in Jesus will be caught up together with Him in the clouds. Perhaps today.