By Pastor Wes Poole
With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. – NRSV
A little boy born with Down syndrome attended his third-grade Sunday School class faithfully each week. As you can expect, the other children did not readily accept the boy because he seemed different.
The Sunday after Easter, their teacher brought in small boxes–one for each child. The children were told to go outside, find some symbols of new life, and put them in their containers. So the children ran wildly throughout the property looking for something to fill their boxes.
Once they returned to the classroom, they began to share their discoveries with the class. One by one they opened their boxes to show flowers, butterflies, leaves, and more. Each time the class would “ooh” and “ahh.”
Then the child with Down syndrome opened his box to reveal nothing inside. The children exclaimed, “That’s stupid! It’s not fair! He didn’t do the assignment right!”
The little boy exclaimed, “I did so do it right! It’s empty…because the tomb where Jesus laid was found empty!”
Can you say…theological mic drop?! Yea verily! He did SO do it right! As Luke reminds us in Acts, great grace is available to us, just as that little boy showed his class that day. The resurrection of Jesus is the single most important doctrine of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, Jesus would simply have been an enlightened teacher, long since passed away, and our faith would be more philosophy than religion. As it stands, Jesus is alive and reigning at the right hand of God; yet always at our side, providing strength and encouragement for life’s journey. For me, this Easter has an especially powerful feeling of new life because we seem to be turning the tide on the pandemic. We should always give thanks God for what He has done for us in Jesus Christ, but that gratitude just seems that much sweeter this year. Every holiday, birthday, milestone, and even the most mundane of daily tasks takes on a new luster. Christ is Risen! We have a share in that new and eternal life. Now that we are beginning to be able to move about again and reconnect with our sisters and brothers out there in the wide world, let us also recommit to being the kind, welcoming, generous, and loving community Jesus has shown us how to be; building one another up and always striving to live into Jesus’ example in our daily lives. Thanks be to God! The Tomb is empty! May our hearts be ever full of that powerful Easter Joy!
Let us pray…
God of new life and perpetual hope, we thank you this day for Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus, who showed us how to live and be in this life, and opened the way to life eternal. Make of us a people committed to telling our Story to the world in both words and deeds, that all people might come to know the true Joy of Easter. We as these things in the name of Jesus, the Risen Christ. Amen.
Be well, be kind, and be safe!
Your Partner in Christ,
Pastor Wes †