Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
As we begin our new worship series, we’re going to talk about “Mountain Top Experiences,” or those times in our life that become embedded in our memories. Those memories that for one reason or another become tangible, precious or painful, depending on what we take away from them. Those memories that become so very real to us we not only never forget them, but sometimes we want to relive them.
As a former child and infant care teacher, I started thinking about those teachable moments, when we can actually “see their wheels clicking,” as my mother used to say. Everything we do with children, or for that matter adults, has a way of teaching others what we are about. Because of that mindset, I began thinking about what Pastor Greg’s great message on Easter was about. The message that no matter what your age, we learn from letting Christ be seen in us, today and always.
I remember a song from when I was little and I hope it’s still sung, “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” (or perhaps “Son-beam” to draw on the meaning). Do you remember it? The words are simply, “Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, to shine for him each day. In every way try to please Him, at home, at work, at play. A sunbeam, a sunbeam, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam. I’ll be a sunbeam for him.”
The childish tone of this song holds true for us as well. To be the best example of God’s love is not easy. Especially in our frustrating moments, like when that character steals your parking place. But did you ever think maybe He sent you an opportunity to do just that, be a Son-beam? When I remember that, I have to bite my tongue, and some days I come home with a pretty sore tongue!
No one is perfect. All we can do is try to make a conscious effort to reflect Christ in every way, to offer our lives to His service to those around us; not just because we are available to Him, but because He has grafted us into the vine of Christ. And through Him, we can produce the fruits that nourish His kingdom to eternal life.
Dear Jesus, produce your life in me. Let me reflect your image to others that they might see the love you have for them. Please give me opportunities to share your words and actions and send me where I can offer help to those in need of your love.
Written by Fran Baatz
Fran is happily married with two daughters, and now four grandchildren and one great-grand daughter! She was an army brat growing up (which means she moved a bit) and her parents (Francis and Orpha Jimenez) were charter members of Sheridan Lutheran Church. She was also the first girl baptized in the church in 1953, so she has been at Sheridan a long time.