Thought for the Day: The name, Joseph of Arimathea, played a prominent role in the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, because the name was associated with some legends around the Holy Grail. But according to scripture, Joseph of Arimathea was responsible for providing a burial place for the body of Jesus. Now when it comes to my own burial, I have explained very clearly to family my desire to be cremated and interred in the least expensive way. I’ll be done with this body, yet at the same time I always add, “It will be whatever is needed by the living. Just make sure nothing is done out of guilt.” Sadly, I have seen some elaborate spending on a funeral out of a deep felt guilt. Equally sad is the fact that spending a ton of money won’t eliminate the guilt. I don’t think Jospeh of Arimathea acted out of guilt. His desire, and this is mostly a Bruce guess, was to show respect for a teacher whose life witness had somehow changed him in a profound way. When I am working on a funeral, there is a heavy responsibility felt. I often think of it as the last gift I can give to the deceased. And maybe Joseph of Arimathea believed a well cut tomb could be that gift.
Prayer: Merciful God, help us to follow Joseph of Arimathea as he seeks to share a gift of grace. Though he did not see that tomb ever being emptied, there was a faith in what the life of Jesus had meant. Amen.
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Rev. Bruce Frogge