With Abby Jill Brauhn’s passing last week, I was reminded by someone about the story of the dash that separates your birth date and the date of your death on your gravestone and it really stuck with me as I reflected on Jesus’ time on earth –
so short but so impactful and world-changing.
The story was about a man who had a revelation while sitting in a cemetery where a loved one was buried.
He looked around at all the tomb stones and he noticed how each one was very similar. Each marker told a story. It told the person’s name, their date of birth and their date of death. Some even had a brief sentence such as “A loving husband and father” which inadequately tried to describe the life of that person. The man began to think of all the untold stories contained in each tomb stone. They each told of the beginning (date of birth) followed by a dash and then the end for that person on earth; However, what happened in between? The man thought, what was in that “dash” for each of these people? Then it hit him. We all are living in our “dash” right now! That little line, that seemingly insignificant hyphen is our very significant life. Jesus came to earth for 33 years to sacrifice His life for all of our sins, yet that amount of time is so inconsequential… just 33 years.
Yet the amount of teaching, mentoring, living and loving that Jesus did during His “dash” and His dying on the cross and His Sunday resurrection changed the world forever. He lived His “dash” , His time on earth, to the fullest. Here is what Philippians 2 says Jesus did with His dash:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
So, how is your dash looking? Are you truly living a life worth living in that little line between your birth date and your date of death? Remember – it is your choice! Check out this link to a moving visual poem about the ‘dash”. Click here.
If you are in Chicago, join us tonight at 7pm for our Good Friday service at Torrey-Grey Ausitorium at 840 N LaSalle Street on the Moody Bible Institute campus.