Scripture: Psalm 49
Key verse: Psalm 49:1-2 “Hear this, all you peoples, give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together.”
Reflection: I was raised as a Moravian, participating actively in the life of a Moravian Church with my family in Winston-Salem. Trips to God’s Acre, the Moravian cemetery adjacent to Old Salem, were a routine part of our Easter preparation. On Holy Saturday (the day between Good Friday and Easter) we would go to God’s Acre to wash the gravestones of our relatives and to decorate them with flowers. If you’ve ever been to the Easter sunrise service in God’s Acre, you might understand a bit about the significance of all that cleaning and decorating.
A unique feature in every Moravian cemetery is that all of the headstones are flat and of the same size and design. And the graves are placed in “choirs” according to personal situation (married or single, child or adult, men or women) instead of being buried beside family in personal “plots.” The cemetery was a lesson in God’s kingdom that I understood even as a child. All of us, rich or poor, low or high, are equal in death. All of us are valued as children of God and none of us will stand above another because of our resources or our worldly accomplishments. And in God’s kingdom we are united into a bigger family than our personal family. Our allegiances are broader and wider than our own relatives.
Today’s psalm reminds us of these lessons. The writer reminds us that wise people die just like fools die. Rich people aren’t able to carry their wealth with them. In death we see a glimpse of the kingdom where all of God’s children are valued and loved and connected to one another.
Prayer: Teach us to trust in you, O Lord. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die and when our days here are ended, enable us to die as those who go forth to live in your kingdom. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].