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Staying Connected

**... they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead** (Luke 16:31).
Amos 6:1,4-7; Psalms 146:7-10; I Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

Sermon Topic Doubt

Sermon Week Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 16:31


A novelist was doing some research for a book about life in a New England town during the first half of this century ...

He thought he might get some valuable insight from a visit to a local cemetery. He soon discovered that almost all the tombstones erected during the period in question contained a short epitaph.

Without exception, each epitaph had only words of praise for the deceased person. Words like "generous" ... "kind" ... "upstanding" ... "noble" ... "loving" appear everywhere. All of which prompted the researcher to ask, "I wonder where they buried the sinners."

On a visit to her birthplace in North Carolina, a woman went to the hometown cemetery ...

When she returned home, she said to a friend, "The old cemetery has really been spruced up. There's plenty of new greenery and they've managed to bring families together again. Years ago, they selected gravesites in a random way. Where the bodies were buried didn't seem to matter much because, being such a small town, everyone was a neighbor to everyone else. They would just dig a grave wherever it seemed to balance things. But now they've redone it so that people are with their children and grandchildren and their brothers and sisters, instead of being scattered."

The woman's friend asked in disbelief, "You mean they exhumed all those bodies and reburied them?" "Oh no," the woman replied, "They just shifted the headstones."1

We, of course, know only too well that regardless of the words etched into the headstones, and regardless of how they may be shifted from one burial site to another, every one of them, without exception, marks the spot where a sinner is buried.

Your life story and my life story and the life story of every single person to come into this world is the story of a sinner -- no exceptions! Which is another way of saying that each, in his or her own way, is estranged from God to some degree.

When Jesus said, "Eternal life is to be with God," He was not giving a discourse on after-life. Rather, he was talking in terms of the [...]

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