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Crypts, Tombs, Caves and Graves

“Do you know the name of the guy who lent his grave to Jesus?”

I did not know. The other gentleman at the table knew. He went on to tell the group about the burial custom of his family.

In his country of origin, families have a cave for burial. That cave is not a cave like the caverns in Kentucky. It’s a room with other rooms.

They put the bodies of the dead in there and seal it up with concrete. A description is written in the concrete so that folks know who is in there. It Can be and sometimes is opened up years later and other bodies added.

I couldn’t help but think of the Scripture that talks about, “when the dead in Christ shall rise…” The reunion of families. Together again.

Going away for a short trip, a long trip, an extended thing -moving for a job. You know -going away, it is always cool, sad, exciting -emotional. I do a lot of going away. I know.

As a Chaplain I can’t help but think about death. But I don’t STAY thinking about it. I don’t dwell on it. I dwell on the afterlife, eternal life.

See, as Believers in Christ we have “Hope Eternal.” (Denny Crane said, “Hope Springs a kernel.”) -Note I didn’t say as church members or religious folks or ‘name a denomination,’ I said, “as Believers in Christ we have Hope Eternal.” Religion is a format.

James writes that true region is to “visit the orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself in spotted from the world.” Not go to some building and wear the team T-Shirt.

This “Way of St. James Pilgrimage” that we are on reminds me to read the book of James. In my preparation for the Camino de Santiago I added Scripture reading to my preparation. I thought, “Why not start with James.”

They say that in the Cathedral in Santiago the remains of St James are interred. I’m not going to pay homage to the remains. We don’t worship the dead. I do want to honor the life of St. James.

He was the first martyr. They cut off his head. The guys that worked with him grabbed his remains and took them to Spain.

The book of James is a call to being better. It is a call to growth. It is a call to being in the right now. It is a call to seeing and experiencing the better news. The news that Christ has your back. Christ realized that we would never be good enough and steps in to alleviate our fears. Christ says, I am enough and St James points us to that promise.

So after a chat with the flight coordinator this morning we find ourselves headed for England. Hopefully by tomorrow we are in England eating fish and chips sans the newspaper. (I Guess they quit wrapping it in newspaper a few years back. It has been 36 years since I was in England so change is inevitable). I have been dreaming of Fish and Chips in England for 36 years. Can’t wait.

And then on to Spain to begin the Camino de Santiago. We will be doing the Camino del Norte route. There are some excellent YouTube videos. Meanwhile we will be here in the USO at Baltimore Washington International.

Thank God for the USO and all the volunteers. Are you a USO volunteer? Do you support the USO financially? Let us know. We are thankful.


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