Mabel Schaefer

posted Apr 18, 2014, 10:36 AM by David Sincock

I was 22 when I met Mabel Schaefer.   She was 94.

It was my first time to speak at the church I would serve in as pastor for ten years.  She called me over to talk to her. Forcefully. She pulled me in close to have all of my attention. Commandingly. She told me she was a Baptist! With conviction. Then she told me what would be on her tombstone and that if I was to be there for the day when it arrived, I would speak on those words at her funeral.

The inscription was to be, “He is not here, He is risen.”

At my age of 22 I thought, “At your age I understand why that is important to you.”  I really didn’t.

I thought she was looking forward to the promise of her resurrection in heaven. She knew that Jesus was the standard; that as he rose to life, so would she.

Yet she realized more. Those words were also about what had passed in her near century of life.

The resurrection of Jesus meant victory. Yes, victory over death but also victory in life. When Jesus rose from the dead he defeated Satan. He defeated sin. He bought our victory over hurt and defeat and temptation. Mabel had experienced a lifetime of her risen Savior.

I spoke about Mabel’s verse a few years later at her funeral. I told this story. I reminded her family and friends that she now had received her hope of being risen. Yet if I had to do it over again, I would preach it differently. I would remind us all as much about her victory in life as her victory in death.

He is not here, he is risen!