Thursday, July 26, 2007

Echoes from the Mountain of God

Out Revilo Road in Lawrence County and left down into a holler that time forgot, one can find Mt. Zion. There is a beautiful spring-fed creek with a swinging bridge, two old church buildings and a cemetary. The Lord's church still meets here every Sunday. The last few years we have taken our young people to Mt. Zion for a picnic, devotional, and playtime. One thinks of Naaman, the baptism of Jesus, and other things to teach about down by such waters.
The word "Zion" means "fortress." It is the word used to describe the eternal city of God or heaven in the New Testament (Heb. 12:22,28; Rev. 14:1).
Up in the cemetary I roamed today, looking at the various headstones with their epitaphs. The oldest grave in the cemetary contains one John McMasters, born in 1789, buried in the 1830's. I presume it is his son's grave that is also there. Another John McMasters was born July 13, 1831 who died December 27, 1925. The one thing that struck the loudest with me was that many headstones are no longer readable. Not only were the sayings unreadable, but the names and dates themselves had faded with the passing of time. Ironically, several of the epitaphs could barely be seen, saying, "gone but not forgotten." This thought may have been true at one time. But as the book of Psalms notes, even our years of strentgth are only labor and sorrow, and we fly away.
The second McMasters grave had the best epitaph in the cemetary - "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." Now here was a fitting end to the life of a man. I don't know if anything will be on my headstone save my name and time. But that verse is definitely on the list of possibilties. I guess it is up to me as to whether or not it will fit.
It may do your soul well to visit the mountain of God. Many things have changed in our world in the last hundereds years. But if you are listening for an echo of yesterday, you may find it there.
"Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." ~ Jer. 6:16

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