Not-So-Scary Life Lessons from a Graveyard

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“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7, NLT

A good friend of mine described a recent walk that he took through a small, country cemetary in which many of his ancestors are buried. He noticed how generations ago the grave stones of his family members were etched with crosses and religious phrases.

But as he walked along, he couldn’t help but notice the gradual disappearance of those testimonies. The gravesites went from including references to Jesus, Heaven, and the faithfulness of God to just giving names and dates of the deceased, nothing else.

Sadly, the gravestones told the story of an entire family’s gradual departure from the faith, one generation at a time. What happened? It’s hard to say. My friend has some theories about what might explain the lapse of faith in his family tree, but what’s most important is that his family is now experiencing a renewal of faith.

By God’s grace, he came to faith in Jesus and his life has been beautifully transformed. Having overcome decades of addiction and brokenness, he now lives with a sense of purpose and his story of salvation and redemption is impacting the next generation.

Praise God, the Cross is once again in his family narrative.

What about you? What are you doing to perpetuate the Christian faith in your time? If you have young people in your life, are you nurturing their faith in Jesus Christ? Telling them the greatest story ever told? Seeking to inspire them by your example? Are you giving them a respect and appreciation for the Bible? Are you regularly praying with them and for them? Helping them sort out their doubts and objections? Are you promoting the value of the local church in their faith development?

The reason I ask is because all of these things contribute in some way to the lineage of the faithful. May God grant us grace for this blessed task.

“It’s the responsibility of the older generation to instruct the younger generation and be an example and an encouragement to them.”

Warren Wiersbe

Someday when they’re walking through the cemetary reading our gravestones, may the story those stones tell be one of unbroken faith. May they see etched in the marble the testimony of one generation after another and a family narrative forever marked by the Cross.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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