Archives for April 2017

What Was in Jeremy’s Egg?

Each time I see a plastic egg, I am reminded of this inspiring Easter story, taken from Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul. As we continue to bask in last week’s glorious Easter, may this encore story touch your heart as it does mine.

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind, and a chronic  illness all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Teresa’s Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher.

It wasn’t fair to keep Jeremy in Doris Miller’s class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying? Doris sat for a long time, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul.  As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. “Oh God,” she said aloud, “Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.”

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. “I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris’s face turned red. She stammered, “Wh-why, that’s very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat.”

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg.

“Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Miss Miller!” the children responded enthusiastically–all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Doris decided to call Jeremy’s parents that night to explain the project to them.

That evening, she had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. “Oh, yes,” a flower is certainly sign of new life,” she said. “When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here.” A small girl in the first row waved her arms. “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that is new life, too.” Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine!”

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. “My daddy helped me!” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy’s, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?”

Flustered, Doris replied, “But Jeremy–your egg is empty!”

He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty too!”

Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, “Do you know why the tomb was empty?”

“Oh, yes!” Jeremy exclaimed. “Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up!”

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

May we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and ponder it in our hearts.

Reflect:

–How would you respond if Jeremy were in your class?

–Do you demonstrate your faith like Jeremy did?

Renew:

— “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7b

— “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” –Matthew 18:2-4 NIV

Recharge:

–What will you do this week to show love and compassion for the Jeremy in your life?

–How will you show your faith more clearly?

Resource:

Kempel, Ida Mae, “What Was In Jeremy’s Egg?”. Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul.

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Holy Land Revelations Part 4: The Garden Tomb

“He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” –Matthew 28:6
Those few words changed the history of the universe. How exciting that Resurrection Day, which we celebrated two days ago, is the biggest event in human history!

Darkness and despair died.
Light, Love and Life overcame the grave.
Hope and anticipation were born in the hearts of all who believe.

I felt that same hope, anticipation and overwhelming peace visiting the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. This Garden Tomb is one of two sites that scholars consider that could be the location of the burial and resurrection of Jesus.

 

It is also adjacent to a rocky slope. Some scholars believe this to be Calvary, or Golgotha.

Our guide gave us the history lesson before we took Communion and were able to walk inside the empty tomb.  We took Communion in the cistern of the garden, close to the empty tomb. It was such a powerful experience to take the bread and drink the cup, knowing Jesus sacrificed His body and bled for us in this close proximity.

Although no one knows for sure where the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus took place, some facts do point to the site being at the Garden Tomb.

Site of the Crucifixion:

  • Outside the city walls of Jerusalem (Hebrews 13:12)
  • Along a busy road (Mark 15:21, 29-30)
  • The place of the skull—Golgotha (John 19:17)
  • A garden is nearby (John 19:41)

 

Site of the Tomb:

  • In a garden (John 19:41)
  • Belonged to a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60)
  • Cut out of a rock (Mark 15:46)
  • Low doorway (John 20:5)
  • Burial chamber located to the right of the entrance (Mark 16:5)

“At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. 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!’ …

“Then the disciples went back to their home, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb, and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman why are you crying?’

‘They have taken my Lord away, ‘ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

‘Woman,’ he said, ‘Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’

Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).

Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them. I am returning to my Father and your Father to my God and your God.’ (Editor’s note: Can you imagine how tightly Mary must have been bear hugging Jesus for Him to tell her to let go?)

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them he had said these things to her.” –John 19: 41-42, John 20: 1-2, 10-18.

Friend, whether or not this particular Garden was the actual site where Jesus was crucified and buried or not, we know for sure that on the third day after His burial, the tomb was empty. He is risen, indeed!

Just days prior, Jesus had been overwhelmed with sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing what was before Him. Jesus conquered sin and death, and He rose from the grave victorious!

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Have you accepted Jesus today as Lord and Savior, knowing that beautiful Truth? If not, today is the perfect day.

Here is how you can receive Christ:

  1. Admit your need. (I have sinned, have messed up).
  2. Be willing to turn away from your sins and make a fresh start (repent).
  3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross and rose from the grave.
  4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and guide your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive Him as Lord and Savior).

Simply pray this prayer:

Dear God,

I know that I am a a sinner and have messed up. All the tears I’ve cried and hurt I’ve felt–it’s Yours now.  I want to turn from my sins, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe He died for my sins and that You raised Him to life. I want Him to come into my heart and guide my life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

All of us here on earth and in heaven are celebrating with you, friend. IF you just prayed that prayer, please send me an email at Danya@proverbs31.org. I’d love to send you a free small gift to celebrate the biggest decision of your life.

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Holy Land Revelations Part 3: Waved Palms to Pierced Palms

Happy Holy Week!

The breeze picked up as we began our descent walking down the Mount of Olives to the gates of Jerusalem. The same road Jesus took. I can only imagine the excited cheering of the great crowd surrounding Jesus on that day of His Triumphal Entry almost 2000 years ago.

“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
‘Hosanna!’
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Blessed is the King of Israel.’

Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written;
‘Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.'”–John 12:13-15. 🙌🙌🙌
.
Oh, how fickle they were.
We are.
I am.
To sing “Hosanna!” on Sunday and “Crucify Him” on Friday.

From waved palms to pierced palms.

May this Holy Week and Easter be the most transformational of our lives. Savor every moment as we remember Jesus’ immeasurable love and sacrifice for us. The best is yet to come.

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