A Suitable Memorial

Joel Stephen Williams

The following story tells of true love which wanted to provide a suitable memorial:

During the days of the Gold Rush, a young man and his bride set out across the country to make their fortunes. Somewhere along the way, they drank some contaminated water, and the young bride became ill and died before they could reach Fort Kearney in Nebraska. Heartbroken, the young man took her body to the highest hill and buried it, using the wagon bed to make a coffin. He drove down some wooden stakes to mark the grave, thinking that he would go on West and later come back. But the more he thought about it, the more he was certain that he couldn't go on. He said to himself, "I'll forget where this is; I will never remember it." So, he retraced his steps all the way to St. Louis, Missouri. He found a stonecutter and had him prepare a tombstone engraved with the name "Susan Hale" along with the date of her birth and death. He tried vainly to get someone to haul it back for him, but all the wagons going west were already overloaded, and no one would help him. Finally, he bought a wheelbarrow, put the stone in it, and walked those weary miles back toward Fort Kearney, and set the stone up on her grave.

How can we provide a suitable memorial for Jesus in gratitude for all that he has accomplished for us? The Lord's Supper immediately comes to mind, but there is so much more which is just as essential. We should offer to God worthy worship: "Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name" (Heb. 13:11). We should offer our lives and our devotion as a suitable memorial: "I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (Rom. 12:1). We have so much to be thankful for. We owe so much. "It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen" (1 Tim. 6:16).

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