Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 21 Year 1
“Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, just as his ancestor David had done.” (2 Chronicles 29:1 – 3)
I like this introduction to Hezekiah. I have often thought that something like this would be nice on my grave marker. It would read, “John Thomas Frazier: went out on his own at age eighteen years of age. His mother’s name was Evelyn; he did what was right in the sight of the Lord according to the doctrine and edicts of the Episcopal Church.” I like the naming of the mother and making her proud of how I lived my dash.
We all live in the dash! That is, we have the date we are born, then the dash (-), and then the date we die. The dash is what we make it. However, knowing what I want on my grave marker encourages me to live into the “he tried to do what was right in the sight of the Lord” part, more realistically. I want my dash to be something that honors God and encourages people to believe in the love of God.
Some of the Bible introductions in the Old Testament say that “He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” I don’t want that one, and neither should you. What if all grave markers were required to say something about how you lived your life?! Even if we are cremated, a plaque or other sign designating our finality had to say something about how we lived our life. While I am not one to get excited about death and dying I do think some words about a person should be written for those who might come looking for the closure of one’s life, if for nothing more than personal or family history’s sake.
I am reminded that death is not the end, but rather the transition from one kind of life that is temporal to another kind of life that is eternal. But the ancient words of scripture inform me that what I do in this life prepares the accommodations for the next. I refer back to Sunday’s Gospel of Luke 16:19-31. And the next life will be eternal. What kind of accommodations would you like for all eternity? Let’s practice the dash of doing what is right in the sight of the Lord now.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+