El Mensajero (English)

Posted: April 16, 2019

A child gives a lesson about the empty tomb

Easter reminds me of a 12-year-old boy, with a twisted body and a slow mind, who was in second grade. His name was Jeremy, and he seemed unable to learn — although from time to time, he spoke clearly and distinctly. His teacher, Miss Miller, tried to tolerate him, but most of the time she became exasperated and irritated with him. In reality she wished that he was not in her class and futilely tried to get him out.
 
Eventually spring came in the school year, and the children talked about Easter. Their teacher told them the story of Jesus. To emphasize the idea of the new life that sprouts (emerges), Miss Miller gave each of the children a large plastic egg and said, “I want you to take this home and bring it tomorrow with something that shows new life. Do you understand?
 
All the very enthusiastic children assented with their heads except Jeremy. Apparently Jeremy understood, and he did not give the teacher his usual blank look. But would he have understood?
 
She was going to call the parents and explain the project to them, but she was very busy and she did not. The next morning the 19 children arrived smiling and talking, while they placed their eggs on the teacher’s desk and the time came to open them.
 
The first egg had a flower inside. Miss Miller said, “Oh, yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life. When the plants start to come out of the ground, we know that spring is here. “ One child raised his hand and said, “That’s mine!”
 
The second egg had a butterfly that looked real. Miss Miller replied: “We all know that the caterpillar grows and becomes a beautiful butterfly, and this is new life too!” Another child raised his hand, “That’s mine!”
 
The third egg had a stone with moss and again Miss Miller replied: “The moss also shows new life.” A very smiling child in the room said, “My dad helped me with that!”
 
When Miss Miller opened the fourth egg, she was very surprised. Surely this must be Jeremy’s, she thought, remembering that she had forgotten to call his parents. Apparently Jeremy had not understood. Not wanting to embarrass him, very quietly she put the egg aside and reached for another.
 
Suddenly Jeremy spoke: “Miss Miller, are you not going to talk about my egg?” Becoming nervous, the teacher said, “But your egg is empty.”
 
He looked directly into her eyes and said, “Yes, but the tomb of Jesus was also empty!” Time stopped for the teacher. When she again could speak, she asked him, “Do you know why the tomb was empty?”
 
“Oh, yes!” Jeremy said, “Jesus was killed and put there — and then His Father raised him up!”
 
The recess bell rang and the children ran outside to play. Miss Miller cried, and the cold she held in her heart for Jeremy melted.
 
Three months later Jeremy died. Those who went to his wake were surprised to see 19 eggs in his coffin — all of them
 
Empty!
 
My friends, Jeremy understood and helped the other children understand. Hopefully we will understand too!
 
He rose again!
 
He rose again!
 
He rose again!
 
Hallelujah!
 
Hallelujah!
 
Truly he resurrected!
 
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Father Mugavero is pastor of Holy Apostles Church in Rochester.