Sometimes I sing lyrics that don’t match the songs. Not in a clever ‘Weird Al’ way, but rather in an ‘I’m-auditioning-for-American-Idol-and-I-can’t-remember-the-lyrics’ sort of way. I’ll hum a bit, rhyme a bit, and look away from the judges.
Not an issue when I am singing to myself, or my dog Tyson, he barks at me regardless of the lyrics. But it does become an issue when I want to quote lyrics for this blog only to find out they don’t exist the way I sing ‘em. So, for today, my blog title is to be sung to the tune ‘Tell Him’, by The Exciters, from the soundtrack of The Big Chill in 1983.
The song, with my altered words, has been running through my mind since Sunday, when I saw a darling 5-ish year-old waving a palm leaf getting ready to go into our church service with the other children and teachers, in remembrance of Jesus going into Jerusalem. As he was waiting to go into the sanctuary this young child stated, to seemingly no one, “Why are we doing this? Didn’t we just do this last year? What are these [palm leaf] things?” He didn’t use any sarcasm. He wasn’t testing adults. He was just curious. He didn’t know.
This thoughtful little boy got me thinking. How easy it is to go through the motions related to our church calendar and not share their meanings with our children, or even each other. What do the calendar colors represent? Their meaning is rich.
Do you know what Maundy Thursday is? It’s beautiful. Jesus gives us a new commandment; he washes the feet of his disciples. My friend Rachel shared it in her Thursday blog. Check it out. What about Good Friday? Jesus’ death. Can your share this part of the story? Face the sacrifice Jesus made? “By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours – a total blackout. The Temple curtain split in right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.” (John 23:44-46, The Message)
From Epiphany to Holy Week, Pentecost to Christmas we have lots of churchy words and churchy actions. We get pretty good at knowing the props for each – advent wreathes, mangers, and palm branches. But do we know the stories? Do we soak in them and ponder our magnificent Father? Do we weep when we think of the love Jesus has for us, and the sacrifice he made. Do we dive into the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and reveal even more? And then, importantly, do we share it with others? This painfully convicts me.
My story of the sweet 5-ish-old ends happily. There was an adult waiting to share. Leader of the Palm Sunday procession, aka Scotte Hansen, also Director of Education Ministries at Beautiful Savior, spoke to the children before going into the sanctuary.
“We are welcoming Jesus!” he proclaimed. “Jesus is coming and we get to celebrate Him!” He said it waving his palm leaf, he said with joy, he said it with conviction, he said it in a way that a small child could trust and get excited about. Hey, I was listening. He said it in a way a 50-year-old could trust and get excited about. Point is – he SAID it.
As we are getting ready to begin our Easter celebrations, and looking for answers to many questions, like, “What kind of egg bake should I make?”, “Will the weather be nice enough to fly kites in the park?”, “Do I have enough candy?”, and “Where is my Easter bonnet?”, why not also refresh our understanding.
Let’s check out the Gospels and read again the details of the greatest story ever – Jesus’ resurrection! And be ready to share our personal testimonies of His saving grace, His resurrection power manifested in our broken lives.
Like the young boy, people are waiting for the answers. You know my suggestion. Tell ‘em, tell ‘em, tell ‘em, tell ‘em RIGHT NOW!