The Saturday before Easter Sunday, a church member, who happens to be an actor on the television soap opera ‘As the World Turns’, meets with me to rehearse the main Bible reading for the next day’s 3 worship services. I’m the tenderfoot assistant minister who needs help. At Princeton Seminary, I take speech classes with Virginia Damon, who’s a former radio star and character actress with Jackie Gleason’s repertoire company. A top-notch teacher, yet I must still seem needy.
Hank Forsythe, who portrays Dr. David Stewart on the soap in addition to a variety of roles in movies and on Broadway, volunteers to coach me on reading John 20, the Easter Resurrection story of Jesus’s encounter with Mary Magdalene at the garden tomb.
How am I feeling? Nervous an understatement. Shaking more like it. After all, this is my first Easter Sunday in a church of 1600 members with probably many more attending this special day. Oy vey, already!
How’d I do? Fine really. Hank, a kind and humble man, how could I not love what he teaches me, adding passion and emotion to familiar words. But actually none of this falderal amounts to a hill of beans disconnected from the reason behind it all. That Jesus truly gives His life so that we’ll live forever. Death dies in the face of His resurrected life. And knowing Him personally as your Savior and Lord is incomparable. What could ever match up?
Lots of moolah stashed away? Maybe when interest rates were worth writing home about. But not even then. Being in control of everything? If so, you won’t be missed when off the scene. Not one bit. The center of attention? Sorry, vain big shot. Who cares anyway? Spend some time reading the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes to get a good whiff of life’s meaning. Oodles and caboodles of vanity and foolishness. Unless.
Unless you know the Lord. The more of Jesus, the less annoying life becomes. You can put up with a lot holding His hand, looking up into His face, walking right beside the One who knows exactly where He’s going. He makes a world of difference. I know. Has in my life. And He’s not done with me yet!
Tomorrow why not think about all that He’s done for you. How He’s changed your outlook on life. Added patience and kindness with lots more where that came from. All because of Jesus.
Let the children enjoy the decorated eggs and candy (probably I’ll have some, as well!). But primarily, let’s relish Jesus. Who lives…and lives forevermore!
Lord Jesus, you mean the world to me. I love you. Amen.