DayBreaks for 9/24/18 – The Mayor of Waterford

Image result for James Rice tombstone Waterford

DayBreaks for 9/24/18: The Mayor of Waterford      

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2008:

In his book, Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey tells of a visit he made in the town of Waterford, Ireland.  He went there to see the famous tomb craving on the stone marking the final resting place of Mayor Rice.  “Considered one of the finest monuments in Ireland, the stone carving portrays the devout Mayor Rice’s decomposing body being gnawed and devoured by toads, vermin, and insects.  The mayor died at a time when the shadow of the Black Death shrouded all of Europe.  ‘Whoever you are that pass by, stand, read, weep,’ says the mayor’s inscription.  ‘I am what you will be and I was what you are.’ 

“The physical world, no matter how attractive, has its limits.” 

It isn’t often that you visit a gravesite to see a picture of the person resting therein being consumed by vermin.  We would rather not think of such things – we’d rather think of the deceased as they looked when they were happy and full of life.  We would rather believe that all is well – even below the surface of the ground where our eyes cannot penetrate the murky darkness.  

But, such is not reality.  “From dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return,” the Lord has decreed.  But that’s not us – it’s just the shroud we wore in life.  Still, the sentiments on the Mayor’s gravestone and the pictures carved there are a good reminder to us: we are mortal.  We are finite.  We are not destined to live in this world forever and ever, hallelujah and amen.  It will, certainly, come to an end, and we shall be like Mayor Rice.

Let us remember that, and remember that the allure of this world is a deadly siren song to divert us from the pathway to eternal life.

PRAYER: Give us perspective, Lord, that we may live wisely, redeeming the time.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 6/21/17 – Mickey Mouse Immortality

DayBreaks for 6/21/17: Mickey Mouse Immortality

From the DayBreaks archive, 2007:

“Disneyland, believe it or not.
“That was the destination of my “questionable pilgrimage” last week. It was a long-planned vacation with my wife’s family. I am not a fan of such places. It had been a full seventeen years since I last set foot in Disneyland and I hadn’t exactly been pining away for a reprise.

“Theme parks, amusement parks, resorts, fairs – any place designed to translate us to a supernatural state of enjoyment presents itself as a particular vision of heaven and an organized denial of death. Where craft and design are skillfully employed, there is a pleasure in the spectacle. But after three days under the unreal spell of the so-called Magic Kingdom, one begins to sicken and lose grip on the hard margins of life.

“Forever let us hold our banners high – high – high – high!

Forever.  If Disneyland is a vision of immortality it is flush with the same kind of color and false health the diseased sometimes display even on their deathbeds.  It is pristine, pre-pubescent, antiseptic, apparently safe, the “happiest place on earth,” But whose heaven is it? A child’s heaven?  A sentimentalist’s heaven? A show-goer’s heaven?  A consumer’s heaven?  A marketer’s heaven?  A glutton’s heaven?  In any case it is a godless heaven and so no heaven at all.  There’s a smell of sulphur mixed in with the cotton candy.

“One risks taking this all too seriously, I know. There’s room for a modest amount of pleasure in life, after all. But when was Disneyland ever about moderation?
“And yet even here one can discover little blossoms of sublimity, little daisies that surprise in a field of plastic flowers. At the end of a tiring day to hold my one-year-old daughter wrapped in a blanket in the front seat of a bobbing boat with her head against my chest while the lights and colors and evening’s first stars are reflected in the black lacquered bow – that is beautiful.”

Galen’s Thoughts: Though sometimes I worry that my oldest son is too serious-minded, I am thankful for his gifts and wisdom that draws me up short on many occasions.  We must be careful, as Doug notes, to not create false supernatural states of enjoyment that denies the realities of life.  That kind of life operates under the motto of “Eat, drink and be merry…for tomorrow we die” (except they leave out the last 4 words!)  God has a better plan – real supernatural enjoyment that lasts forever.  Seek it.  Find Him.  And you will have found all that your heart ever truly has longed for. 

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for helping us know the beautiful from that which has false beauty and attraction.  Fill us fully with Your joy.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 03/20/12 – Mortal Immortal Thoughts

DayBreaks for 03/18/12 – Mortal Immortal Thoughts

"For this mortal must put on immortality..."

42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. 50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:49-53

There are times and places in our lives where we are reminded of our mortality.  While many recoil from such thoughts, the wise man Solomon said we would be wise, too, to ponder such realities, because pondering them helps us not only live better as mortals, but to prepare to live as immortals.

Our physical bodies are weak.  It doesn’t matter if you are the gold medal heavyweight weight lifter in the Olympics or the greatest triathlete in the history of the world, the fact of the matter remains that we have weak bodies – bodies that will get sick, can be broken, bodies which will molder in the grave.  And that is why we recoil at contemplation of our mortality.

How refreshing are Paul’s words: “…we will someday be like the heavenly man.”  These bodies of which we are so fond (and can we be honest – even those who say they hate their bodies fight like banshees to maintain this mortal life.  It may not be our bodies that we love, but this mortal life.

I recently have had reason to reflect on mortalality/immortality and I am glad for it for I am better for having done so.  As I pondered it during the darkness of the bedroom at night, I almost had a vision (not to get too mystical here!) of that moment of translation from mortal to immortal – or rather, of how it happens.  I saw myself (from behind my back) standing and facing toward God.  I was clothed in mortal garb, but it was dirty and rather tattered.  Then, I saw hands reaching out to me holding a dazzlingly white robe.  The hands reached around my neck and put the robe upon my shoulders.  It was brilliant, clean, spotless.  It shone.

No sooner was the robe put upon me than I felt a tremendous sense of unworthiness.  You see, in the “vision” my filthy clothes had not been removed – but they were covered over with the robe that I understood to be Christ’s righteousness.  The filthy clothes I had on underneath were not left on me to cause me sadness, nor to bring me shame or guilt, but just to remind me that I was unworthy of any claim of my own to righteousness, and it was only the righteousness of Christ that ultimately mattered.

I must say that in that vision I had a tremendous sense of peace and inexplicable joy.  It will be a great day when our bodies are transformed and we take on the heavenly body of God’s design for us.  But let us not forget that today is a great day because we already have the robe of His righteousness.

PRAYER: Thank You Father, for covering our sin and shame with the brilliant, dazzling robe of righteousness that belongs to Your beloved Son!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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