by Bob Wickizer

Rev. Bob Wickizer
Ecclesiastes 44:1-10,13-14; Psalm 149; Revelation 7:2-4, 9-17; Matthew 5:1-12
November 4 2001

Walking through the cemetery several times a day literally grounds me in prayer and meditation about the lives of so many who have gone before us, priest and lay person, old and young, married and single. The stones themselves tell stories of short lives, hard lives, big families and lives grounded in their faith. Every day as I walk among these hallowed stones I recall the inscription on poet Cecil Day Lewis' stone. A contemporary of Thomas Hardy, Lewis wrote these lines in a poem titled "Is it Far to Go?"
Shall I be gone long?
For ever and a day.
To whom there belong?
Ask the stone to say,
Ask my song.

"To whom there belong?" asks us to search through eternity for belonging. "Ask the stone to say" invites us to explore time in our everyday physical world. While "Ask my song" tells us that the reference for all human questions about time is nothing more than human experience itself - my song. Time, measured by the cadence of my own steps, flows as a human experience while to God, we are all alive - those who lived in the past, in the present and in the future.

Nearly three thousand years earlier, the writer of Ecclesiasticus penned similar thoughts in the familiar verse beginning with "Let us now sing the praises of famous men ..." The writer mentions famous people who were political figures, military leaders, poets, wise counselors and wealthy people. These are the ones whom history will record for future generations to consider. But what about the ones who were not famous who "perished as though they had never existed?" We are told that both the famous and the unknown will continue forever and their glory will never be blotted out, that their name will live on generation after generation. The average, everyday people are also godly people whose righteous deeds God does not forget.

Today we must rescue the ide ...

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