Bringing the Text to Life
Dr. Paul Stuckey, the wonderful new senior minister at Grace United Methodist Church in Dayton, Ohio, tells the story of an eye-catching ad in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, newspaper's classified section. Big, bold letters advertised "Used Tombstone. " The ad's text read as follows: "Used tombstone for sale. Real bargain to someone named 'Dingo.' For more information call ..."
The image of a used tombstone may at first seem maudlin and depressing. But think again: a "used" tombstone means that its previous owner has no longer any use for it. It has become a castoff, unnecessary item. The Easter tidings of Christ's resurrection convey exactly the same message: the tomb is empty! The stone marker is no longer needed! Jesus Christ is risen!
But Jesus isn't the only one who has left behind a used tombstone. Romans 6:5-11 clearly spells out Paul's conviction that Christians, by definition, should be leaving their own discarded grave-markers all over the face of the earth. The church should be ...