With more and more people choosing to be cremated, people increasingly will get a chance to see what humans are made of — Dust!
This morning one of the interns from the Vineyard accompanied me as I drove to a cemetery near Mansfield, Illinois, where I performed a graveside service for an 85-year-0ld woman I had never met. 25 friends and family gathered around as I shared a few words and as the intern read from Psalm 90 and Romans 8. The son of the woman who died attends the Vineyard. He said he appreciated the service.
The woman’s ashes filled a rectangular funerary urn about the size of a lunch box. The urn sat atop a 3-foot by 3-foot carpet-covered 3-inch wooden platform. It sat just a bit higher than the top of the grass. After we left, the urn was buried next to her husband’s grave.
When I looked at how few ashes are actually left after a body is cremated, I was struck with the thought: "From dust we came and to dust we shall return. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Or as Romans 14 says, "For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord." Romans 14:7-8 (NLT)