The Grave's a Fine and Stylish Place

Isn’t this a stylish grave? I snapped it at Salterforth cemetery this summer. It has a more than a hint of art deco, with its symmetry, waves and sleek lines. Those bright white stone chips give it a sense opulence, though it certainly isn’t the largest monument in the place. I can imagine that the interment itself was a dignified affair, with men in sombre grey woollen suits with wide lapels, two-tone brogues and snap-brim fedoras. With them may have stood short haired women wearing fur trim and black cloche hats with matching netting. Perhaps a good-looking young minister with side-parted hair, recently graduated from the most fashionable theological college, offered a cutting edge, modern take on religious truth, offering sensible graveside comfort.


What, though, of the deceased? There are no fashions in eternity, no smart dress, no good taste. The only issue of significance is what one did with the Son. It’s popular nowadays to have prepaid funeral plans and for sets of written instructions to be handed to loved ones or solicitors in solemn-looking envelopes. You’ll begin with a particular song, this poem is to be read, a eulogy to follow. The perfect funeral, a celebration of all I achieved. But was Christ and His gospel received and accepted, or dismissed as matters of little import?

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:12-13.