The newness of life
This story has been around for some time and research has never produced an author. It’s one of those stories that morphs into many versions but with the same message in the end. A message of renewal -- newness of life.
Jeremy was born with a severe disability and some mild intellectual impairment. Although Jeremy was 12 years old, he was still in second grade at his Christian school. In fact, his teacher, Miss Miller, had repeatedly tried to put Jeremy in a special education class, but the boy’s parents were big on inclusion and they wanted him to stay with his classmates. This frustrated Miss Miller as she had 18 other youngsters to teach. But she prayed and asked God to give her patience.
Springtime came rolling around and also the usual lessons Miss Miller taught about Easter. She explained the story of Jesus to her class, that He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave victorious. She then gave the class an assignment. Each child was given a large plastic egg and told to take it home and bring it back the next day with something inside that showed new life. All the children were super enthusiastic, that is, except for Jeremy. Miss Miller wasn’t certain Jeremy even understood the assignment.
The next morning the children came to school, each talking about the surprise inside their egg. The eggs were all placed in a wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. Just before morning recess it was time to open the eggs. In one egg a child had placed a small silk flower, a perfect sign of new life, Miss Miller commented. The next egg contained a little plastic butterfly, which the teacher also commented positively. When Miss Miller opened the next egg she found it empty. Because nothing was in it Miss Miller assumed it was Jeremy’s egg, convinced he must not have understood her instructions for the assignment. Because she did not want to embarrass the disabled boy, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. But Jeremy spoke up, “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” The teacher replied, “Jeremy honey, your egg is empty.” As she had feared, the class burst into laughter. Undeterred and with the simple wisdom of a child he said, “Yes; but the tomb of Jesus was empty too!”
The recess bell rang and while the children ran out into the schoolyard, Miss Miller went to her desk, quietly sat down, and dabbed her tear filled eyes. Here for an entire semester she felt it a waste of time trying to teach that little boy. He was too much of a distraction and the extra attention she had to give him was a heavy burden. But all the while, she can now see, Jeremy possessed an insight to godly things that were far beyond those of his classmates. Three months later, his true health problems unknown to his teacher or classmates, Jeremy passed away. Those who paid their respects at the funeral home were surprised to see 19 colorful plastic eggs on top of his casket -- all of them open, and empty.
[John 20:10-18; Romans 6:3-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-24]... “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” Are you prepared for the opening of your own tomb? (John 5:24-30) Are you looking forward to sharing in the Resurrection of Christ -- to meet your God?
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at email@example.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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