Sunday, May 30, 2010

Remembering on Memorial Day

Yesterday I went "decorating" with my parents; that is, we visited the graves of loved ones and placed flowers at the sites. While looking at different tombstones at a country cemetery I came across the the name of a woman I didn't recognize. However, the epitaph engraved on her stone gave me pause. I snapped a picture of the saying with my cell phone. The last line didn't turn out so clearly on my picture but the epitaph ran closely like this:

As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you must be
Prepare for death to follow me

Rather haunting, isn't it? (No pun intended.) It demands circumspection here to prepare for the hereafter.

Because of the Fall humans are notoriously adept at focusing on the trivial, the temporal and and sinful and scandalously lax about contemplating the important, the eternal and the holy. Indeed, without the Holy Spirit's conviction nobody would focus on the things leading to eternal life.

In such a worldly atmosphere the Apostle Paul honored Timothy:
Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions [doctrines] even as I delivered them to you.  (1 Corinthians 11:2 ESV)
A sad fact of life remains that unless vigilance is kept up the "Second Law of Spiritual Thermodynamics" strikes: good, moral, ethical Christian things corrode and corrupt in time; the system of order breaks down into entropy: chaos, heresy and sin.

1. Conservative churches, denominations and seminaries become liberal, even heretical
2. The patriarch’s religion, morals, ethics and values become lost on the children or grandchildren

What is the only way to keep the entropy—according to the Second Law of Spiritual Thermodynamics—from increasing? Paul supplies the answer to Timothy:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV)
May we never forget it.