Sunday, January 02, 2005

REGENERATION: Behold, new life!

Dead-ringer On The Graveyard Shift! [Jeremiah 24:2-10]

Have you ever wonder where certain sayings come from? I do? I’m told that in 16th century England, people drank ale or whiskey from lead cups; evidently the combination could knock a hardy drinker out for a couple of days. [Ed. Note: I don't think it was the combination that did it!]

At any rate, someone walking along the road might mistake an unconscious drunk for dead and so prepare him for burial. He’s be laid on the kitchen table for a few days so the family could gather around, eat and drink, and wait to see if you'd wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake". [Why it was not called a "wait," I don’t know!] Regardless, people soon became aware not all who appeared dead, were actually dead.

I’m also told England, being small, was running out of places to bury people in "sanctified cemeteries." Hence, old graves were dug up and the remains stored in order to re-used grave plots. Evidently, in reopening the coffins, they discovered scratch marks inside some. It didn't take long to figure out many people were buried alive.

Consequently the practice of tying string to the wrist of the deceased, leading it up through the ground to tie to a bell. A volunteer would sit in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell; thus the sayings "graveyard shift" and "saved by the bell" and "dead ringers," [Adapted from Life in the 1500's, author unknown]

Folks, we’re late of the grave, very dead yet very alive in death – the walking dead! So we too are "dead ringers," of a sort. Praise Jesus, He patiently waits out his graveyard shift by our upright graves, listening for the peal of our bell when it rings, "Save me! Save me! Save me! "

The gospel is about life not death; yet not all who hear it will pull on the string, their Savior. Many will be found on the side of the road to perdition and be counted among the dead while a chance remains for them to ring out!

All They Will Ever Have! [Matthew 29]

"As scientists look back at all the discoveries made in the 1990's, the so-called Decade of the Brain, one finding stands out as the most startling and, for many scientists, the most difficult to accept: people are not necessarily born with all the brain cells they will ever have."

These words are a quote from Sandra Blakeslee, from a 1/4/00 preview article of a The New York Times piece entitled "Discovery Yields Shock About the Brain." [Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company]

Well, shut my mouth! Neither are they born with all of many things they will ever have. Take sin, for example.

And we have no idea the precise change that takes place when a sinner is born again. If scientists have difficulty accepting an unexplained increase in brain cells, no wonder so few of them seem to be believers.

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