If you know anything about the church calendar, it really all leads up to Easter – this “feast of resurrection”. Easter is the day that all other days look forward to. If you go to church on Easter you can sense that something different is in the air. People dress up more than they usually would. The church workers work extra hard to make sure the service is extra special, partially because they are excited and partially because they are nervous (Easter services also have larger than normal crowds). So we sing and shout, dance and feast — and so we should! But today is the day after, and for most of us at least, life seems quiet in comparison. Yet it’s precisely in the quietness that we find the resurrection stories. Interestingly enough, none of the writers of the gospels shout about the resurrection. Buechner says,
“It was the most extraordinary thing they believed had ever happened, and yet they tell it so quietly that you have to lean close to be sure what they are telling. They tell it as softly as a secret, as something so precious, and holy, and fragile, and unbelievable, and true, that to tell it any other way would be somehow to dishonor it. To proclaim the resurrection the way they do, you would have to say it in whispers: “Christ has risen.” Like that”.
This morning, as I started the car to drive the kids to school, the CD that I was previously listening came on. It happened to be a CD with two tracks — 2 sermons. The Benediction was being given on track one, and sermon # 2 was just about to play. However, before the on-line sermon was given, there was an advertisement like appeal to listeners to help raise money for people without water. As we were listening, the Pastor mentioned that every 20 seconds a child dies due to a lack of water, or contaminated water. I wondered if my daughters heard. He finished his appeal and the sermon began. As it began, Soleil spoke up, “Did he say that a child will die in 20 minutes?”. I cringed and shut the stereo off. Knowing that a child will die in 20 minutes is a dreadful thought. Unfortunately, the truth was much worse than what my daughter heard. As I opened my mouth to speak, I felt my stomach turn for I was about to tell my five year old daughter that in this world a child dies not every 20 minutes, but every 20 seconds for lack of water. “Dad, why don’t we get a bucket and put some cold water in it and write – ‘For Africa’ on the front. Maybe the mailman could come and get it and deliver it to them.” I tried to gently explain to her that they needed more than a bucket of water, but needed…“wells?”, she said finishing my sentence. “Yes, wells”. We sat in silence. As I sat there I was confronted with my abundance — perhaps I’m more of a goat than a sheep I thought; and despair — how could this ever change. But I was also confronted with the disservice that I had just done to my daughter. As we grow old, we tend to believe that we if we can’t do everything, we can’t do anything. Sitting there in silence the words of Jesus rang in one ear “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink” and “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water in my name…” (Matthew 10:42), and the words of my daughter rang in the other “a bucket of cold water”. I told her that what she suggested was beautiful, and giving a bucket of water to someone who needed it would be like giving it to Jesus Himself. She responded by mixing two Bible stories together. “Dad, don’t forget about the power that comes from Heaven that we read about in the Bible. Jesus can take a glass of water and make buckets of wine and have some leftover. He can take a glass of water and make buckets of water, too.” In my daughter’s word’s I found “something so precious, and holy, and fragile, and unbelievable, and true…”. In the quietness of my car I heard not the shouts of yesterday but rather a whisper: “He is Risen”.