I remember waking that Monday
morning asking myself, was that for real? Was it just a bad dream?
Maybe once I get up and start moving, have some orange juice and get
the day started, things just might be better. After the routine
shower and shave it was becoming abundantly clear that it had all
happened just as I remembered it.
It was the darkest Sunday among Sundays. Our little church that
wasn’t really so little any more was in crisis The hard working
young preacher had started with about fifty regulars and had built
the church numbers to over two hundred and fifty faithful followers.
It was getting to the point of almost having to beg people to work
in the children’s department. The walls were beginning to bulge from
the numbers and there was talk of an expansion program.
The services began with the songs and the prayers and of course the
offering plate being passed. The preacher got up to give his Sunday
evening message and we all expected the usual call for service and
help that was needed in the different parts of the church. Then out
of the blue the bomb shell burst. With regrets the preacher would be
leaving the church for another one somewhere out east and that the
deacon board would be choosing another pastor for the church.
After the work and planning and anticipation of a new tomorrow it
would be that, but our tomorrow at this moment in time seemed as
dark as the Sunday services we had just sat through. What were we to
do? Who would be there for us now. I think of all the different
emotions felt after that announcement , fear was the most prominent.
The fear that if the wrong person stepped into the pulpit we would
lose all the ground we had gained over the past four years, fear
that we wouldn’t be able to accept the new man. As individuals and
as a whole, the church came together and prayed that God would help
us in this time of need.
I think that is probably just how those eleven guys thought as they
woke that day after the crucifixion. Their leader taken from them
just at the time when they thought their plans and future was pretty
What would they do now? The Romans had put their leader on the
cross, were they next? Were they now being sought? Who would lead
them now? Surely individually and as groups they prayed to God for
help in those dark hours. They were in fear for their life, their
leadership and their future. Those had to be the darkest of times
for that little band of believers.
Then after three days came the wonderful news. The tomb was empty.
Maybe it took hours or even minutes, who knows, but somewhere along
the time line someone remembered the words of their leader, that
after three days he would rise. All their plans could not only go
forward from here, but they still had their leader.
A few weeks from the time we lost our preacher, a new preacher came
to take the post and in days all the programs and plans went forward
and hardly skipped a beat.
We live in a time when fear seems to be the chief emotion. To many
of us we think these are the darkest of days. These kind of days
have been seen by every generation since Adam. Each one hoping and
praying that these dark times should pass. They will and these old
days will seem like good old days when the next dark times befall
Somewhere beyond the rabbits and chicks and chocolate bunnies there
is a much deeper meaning to Easter. Find it.
“…..lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen