Tuesday, December 08, 2015

What about cremation?

Continuing on in Scot McKnight's dandy little book 'The Heaven Promise'... today we come to chapter 22: "What About Cremation? Wisdom That Respects God's Word."

People have had differing views on cremation over the years depending on religion, era, and more recently, space and finances. While some today believe cremation devalues the body, or argue that "it wasn't done in the Bible," McKnight views it differently.

He cites Genesis 3:19, Psalm 90:3 and 104:29, and Ecclesiastes 12:7 - all inferring to some degree,

"For dust you are and to dust you will return."

He states, "Cremation, in other words, simply speeds up our inevitable return to dust, from which dust God will remake us into our resurrection bodies designed for the final Heaven."

He concludes:
"That language of returning to dust applies whether we have an ordinary disposal in a cheap wooden box, in a tragic burial at sea, in a location no one ever discovers, in an expensive gold-plated casket, or in the fires of cremation."

"What matters is the resurrection of Jesus and our participation in his resurrection. As Billy Graham once said, 'The body is annihilated just as completely in the grave as it is in cremation... Cremation is therefore no hindrance to the resurrection.'"
* * * * * * * *
"In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother/sister. And we commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious to him, the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and give him peace. Amen."
(Book of Common Prayer)