|He was too heavy. He squirmed with nervous energy. His legs were getting restless, and he needed to go the bathroom. As he hung from the makeshift 2x4 lumber-constructed- cross, Greg was ready to come down before it was time.
Greg was playing Jesus during the church's Easter play. I guess this is what happens when you grow up in a family church, and your family is the primary family in charge.
And to make matters worse, when we got Greg down to carry him behind the large curtains (we didn’t have the artistic ability to make a tomb), he kept squirming, and we dropped him. There was a loud gasp that followed by an even more deafening thud behind the curtains. We didn't know that Greg could bounce so high off the floor!
That year's Easter play was a disaster! A rambunctious teenager is playing Jesus, followed by his younger cousins, who idolized him, playing his disciples. Okay, so before you zing me for being blasphemous, we were playing our assigned roles and doing a lousy job at it.
And maybe that’s the point of Easter: we’re all mistake-prone in playing our assigned roles in life. When we look at our life’s story, we eventually will struggle with our flaws—the things that we don’t like about ourselves. Admitting that we even have flaws proves to be a difficult task because we don't want people to see us negatively. In fact, since most of our private talk is negative and judgmental, we often try to compete with and compare ourselves to others. We come up short every time since we are our own worst critics.
I believe that Easter is ultimately about living in a new way. It’s a new way of being and doing that's life-giving and guided by service, peace, love, joy, forgiveness, and hope. I believe that God joins us on our journey, especially when we stumble at times and are mistake-prone.
What we thought to be a disastrous Easter play turned out to be spot-on about the message of Easter. We didn’t understand it all; we were going through the motions by playing our assigned roles and making several mistakes in the process. To our surprise stumbling through our parts didn't overshadow the meaning of Easter.
Somehow, shining through our mistakes, yes, even dropping Greg at the tomb, the power of Easter was present. Amazing grace with unconditional love made up for our mistakes and the audience gave us a laughing standing ovation.
We never intended to make people smile, but it happened. I hope you remember to share the Easter message of hope, new life, and forgiveness for mistake-prone people this Sunday. God smiles at us as Christ is alive! Happy Easter!
Technology and Digital Ministry