Joshua Graves
Exploring the Collision of Culture & Faith
Waking Up To Death
February 27, 2014

A story from Paul Tillich‘s “Born in the Grave,” The Shaking of the Foundations (165).

In the Nuremburg war-crime trials a witness appeared who had lived for a time in a grave in a Jewish grave-yard, in Wilna, Poland. It was the only place he–and many others–could live, when in hiding after they had escaped the gas chamber. During this time he wrote poetry, and one of the poems was a description of a birth. In a grave nearby a young woman gave birth to a boy. They 80 year old gravedigger, wrapped in a linen shroud, assisted. When the newborn child uttered his first cry, the old man prayed: “Great God, hast Thou finally sent the Messiah to us? For who else than the Messiah Himself can be born in a grave?” But after three days the poet saw the child sucking his mother’s tears because she had no milk for him.

This is why we talk about justice, restoration, new heavens, new earths, resurrection.

Death doesn’t get the last word.

No way. No how.

Death doesn’t get the last line in this drama.

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