Open Graves

November 23, 2018
by Peggy White

Each year at this time, my husband and I go to my dad's grave and clean out the old summer foliage around the headstone. We dig up the soil a bit and insert the foot prongs of a green wreath with a few seasonal decorations for the winter. This is done early so that we can get it in the soil before the ground freezes. The wreath stays there until spring. Most of my family from my father's side who have passed on are buried at this cemetery: my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. My mother is still alive at the age of 97!

Although some people think it morbid, I love to walk through the paths of the cemetery and remember old friends and patients from the past. I am a retired health care worker and have many memories of caring for these people in their time on earth. I have helped some of them to die with less pain and some semblance of comfort, and have given heartfelt encouragement to believers. It feels good to bring up the faces and memories of those gone before me. As I gaze around at all the headstones and ornaments, I wonder what it will be like when the graves open.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I'll probably never fully understand. We're not all going to die — but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes — it's over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we'll all be changed. (MSG)

I try to imagine what it will be like! Will these headstones topple over with the expulsion of six feet of dirt, as resurrected bodies rise up and meet Jesus in the air? Will all the buried people come out? It is really hard to imagine. Many versions say that it will happen "in the twinkling of an eye".

1 Corinthians 15:52 – In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed). (AMPC)

When this happens, will I be alive on earth or will I be in my grave? The Bible tells us that no one knows the time, but many say that it is coming soon. Only the Father knows. What I do know in my knower is that wherever I am, at the sound of the trumpet, I will be raised with Christ. I will then experience what is written in today's passage. I am confident that my name is written in His Book of Life.

Where are you going to be? Do you know? If you want to be with Him, just ask Him. He loves you, too.

Prayer: Dear God, please add me to Your Book of Life. I am a sinner, and I accept and believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son and that He died for my sins so that I might have eternal life. I make Jesus the Lord of my life, and I will live in Your salvation, because the Bible tells me so. Amen.

About the author:

Peggy White <bpwhite777@cogeco.ca>
Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Peggy!


    Thanks for the encouraging word, Peggy.


    Thank you, Peggy, for this encouraging message.


    Yes! Jesus is the resurrection and the life, eternal! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Absolutely wonderful!! Great message, Peggy! Excellent writing, and the subject is one we all need to hear more often. Thank you!
    God bless you.


    Hi Peggy: What a lovely message. I too believe Jesus is coming soon.
    Whether I am still alive or not I believe this too. I was born and raised in Port Colborne and am so encouraged to see faith flourishing in my hometown.
    May God Bless you in a very special way this holiday season.


    Hello Peggy
    This was really good. I can imagine walking through the cemetery would give you peace as you remember this one and that one.
    I have been praying for you all in Port Colborne each night wondering how your store front church is doing? I believe this is the right one.
    In any case, I am praying for you and your church family. God bless.


    Thank you for this lovely description of your activities remembering those who have gone before you. Of course, you realize that what remains here are merely worn out, earthly bodies, with which they are all finished. Like a butterfly shedding its cocoon. Their souls, their selves, are NOT buried in this graveyard, waiting patiently for the resurrection but indeed instantly with Christ at their moment of death. I’m sure this is your truth too, but a reminder never hurts.


    I loved your devotion Peggy. Thank you, God bless you and your family. I have to get to the cemetery soon and do the same task of cleaning graves of my parents and in-laws. Your scripture selections are beautiful and so dear to me.


    Hi Peggy,
    You reminded me of my grandmother’s funeral just outside of Port Colborne on the highway across from Lake Erie. It was a bitterly cold day and I remember watching the ice fishermen across the road on the lake.
    You’ve reminded me of that day and my many visits to Port.
    Thank you for your devotional.

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