The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the one they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed. Now, get on your way quickly, and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message" Matthew 28:5-7, The Message.
As a young adult, I enjoyed listening to Paul Harvey. It always would fascinate me as he would uncover the whole story about a person or subject. I remember always being drawn into the story and then, when I was waiting anxiously for the "punch line," he would take a commercial break. Those 30 second-to-a-minute breaks always seemed to be much longer than they really were.
As the season of Lent comes to a close and we prepare for Holy Week and Easter ("the rest of the story"), I feel as if we are in a commercial break waiting with bated breath to hear what happens to this "Gypsy Preacher" (quoted from Micah, Living Last Supper).
Of course, we already know the rest of the story, or at least think we do. We know on Palm Sunday, Jesus will enter Jerusalem to cheers and celebration. The people celebrating on Palm Sunday believe they know "the rest of the story." They expect Jesus finally will assume his role as the leader and king of Israel, the prophesied king and one as told in the Old Testament.
Well, we know "the rest of the story" for the tribes of Israel was what God had intended to happen, not what the people expected. The king of kings had arrived. Jesus, the king of the world, the king of our lives and the heavenly king would be tried, crucified, buried and then, in three days, he would be resurrected.
This certainly was the rest of the story for the community of disciples of the first century, or was it the rest of the story? Wasn't the rest of the story how they told the story and lived out the story in their lives?
How do we feel about the Holy Week and Easter story? If Paul Harvey were to tell the story of Jesus, what would he tell after the commercial break? Would it be the story of Jesus' meeting with the disciples and showing Thomas his wounds?
I would invite us instead to believe and to live knowing the rest of the story continues to be written every day.
As we reach out to our neighbor in love and compassion, a little more of the Easter story is being written. As we help our children grow with love and character, a little more of the Easter story is being written. As we receive the message of God's grace, forgiveness and mercy and how it impacts our lives, a little more of the Easter story is being written.
Until Jesus comes again, the rest of the story continues to be written.
May God bless us as we live out "the rest of the story," the story of God's love for God's world.
Statements of Faith is a series sharing lessons from local church leaders and members. To submit a column for publication, contact the Hays Daily News at (785) 628-1081.