Looking unto Jesus
By A. Ray Lee
This coming Sunday will be the annual Decoration Day at Lebanon Baptist Cemetery. Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday people will come from near and afar to place flowers on the graves of family and friends to honor their lives and as a show of remembrance lest they be forgotten. Regardless of the length of their days, those resting beneath the sod awaiting the coming of the Lord were special to someone. Many of them left a legacy of faith worthy of following.
There are a number of new graves that were not there last year. Recently I was asked to give a eulogy for one whose family lineage goes back directly to the founding of the church 175 years ago. She, like many of our generation, had been able to trace the roots of faith to those who had preceded her.
This weekend I will revisit my great-grandfather Quattlebaum’s resting place where a simple stone marker states he was born in 1847 and died in 1926. Records in the carefully preserved church minutes reveal that he was baptized into the fellowship of the church in the latter years of the 19th century. His daughter-in-law, my grandmother who died in 1910 at the age of 22, is buried nearby. Graves of her extended family members are scattered all over the cemetery. Many of them were individuals with strong faiths.
I will place flowers on my parent’s graves. They have been deceased for over 30 years. My father’s family came to the community 100 years ago and many of his brothers and sisters were members of the church. My largest arrangement will be placed over the spot where my late wife of 58 years waits for me to join her. All of these are worthy of our honor and recognition.
It is fitting that we remember those who have gone on before us. The writer of Hebrews gives a long list of faithful people worthy of our emulation. “Seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doeth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”