Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's

Next time you are at St. Paul's, step around to the West facing wall near the chapel exterior door. Thanks to a generous donation from a St. Paul's member, and the creative hard work of our Memorial Garden trustees, we have a new plaque on the wall marking our outdoor columbarium. The dignified plaque appropriately marks the ground below as hallowed.

The cross echoes the cross atop our bell tower, with its Celtic motif. The inscription comes from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 14:8. Here is the full passage:
"If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's."
I sat there awhile yesterday contemplating the meaning of that passage, and I was again struck by the audacity of the Gospel of Christ that St. Paul witnessed and proclaimed. Somehow it was Paul, perhaps more than the apostles who had followed Jesus on earth, who really got the message: The gospel -- the good news of salvation -- is not confined to a single tribe or a single nation, but is for all people everywhere. And death is no boundary to salvation.

The plaque is a fitting tribute to those whose ashes are in our garden and to their enduring presence with us.

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