O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise… Psalm 8:1-2
Point By Point
- I was shocked at Easter Breakfast when my 3-year-old granddaughter commented on “Mark 16:6”
- On the other hand, her fourth birthday was all about Buzz Lightyear
- We are all caught in a battle between a world full of glitter and emptiness, and the war for justice/righteousness
- It begins with praise from infants (and adults) for an empty tomb and a Lord who will have all in the end
It was last Easter morning and we were having our traditional Easter breakfast at church. In the general conversation somehow the point of the morning actually came up: Jesus’ resurrection. Someone said, “He is risen!” and someone else responded, “He is risen, indeed!” This is a traditional Christian blessing that can be heard at least in some Christian churches, on at least Easter morning, virtually anywhere in the world: nothing unusual about that. Then the surprising thing happened. Our (then) three-year-old granddaughter chimed in — there is nothing shy about Annabelle — “Yes, of course. It’s Mark 16:6. ” Matter of fact. End of statement; back to the business at hand: pancakes!
What! What did she say? She quoted chapter and verse for:
So [the women] entered the tomb, where they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe — and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here — he has been raised!” Mark 16:5-6
Excuse me, but where did she get that? The mystery may have been solved by her mother, my daughter Sarah, who was not sure but guessed Annabelle’s daycare had been doing a bit of Bible work on the reason for the season. Still, I was startled. The resurrection, chapter and verse, from the mouth of our 3-year-old!
I should not have been surprised. Just because I was not raised in a Christian home does not mean I should be surprised to hear what the psalmist declared come true in my daughter’s family. Matter-of-fact praise from the mouth of a toddler: Of course. He is not dead any more. He is raised. Mark 16:6. Of course.
Annabelle is grandchild #5 among six and right now the basic size of her world is home and school and church, and her reality is that of course Jesus was raised and is raised, and we are all, Poppas and Moms and little children, are all ordained to praise him, of course.
It will not always be so simple for Annabelle. She will have an ordeal, a tribulation to pass through, just like everyone does who names the name of the Risen One. The world of glittery stuff and high-tech gadgets and high-pressure sales into which she is already an inductee, has no idea about Mark 16:6, that Jesus is raised and that we have hope for a renewed, righteous/just world where people worship/work for their risen Lord with every breath and every step. Such things are largely unknown by our world. At least such things are irrelevant to it; consigned to the category, “religion,” unimportant unless there is something to be sold, someone or thing to commodify, unless there is profit to be made.
Annabelle is not immune at all to that high-pressure world. It was her birthday this month and she wanted everything “Buzz Lightyear!” The corporatocracy has Annabelle’s number and she is paying attention. They will seek to “brand” her just like they do everyone who serves their profit centers. But that Jesus is raised and that all systems and behaviors and entities and powers which do not finally bow the knee before him will simply cease to be, are passing away, that reality, however unknown it may be to our world, it is implicit in the heart of anyone who knows about, who knows Mark 16:6.
The war has begun over Annabelle’s heart. I am watching and praying and groaning as only a grandfather can do, for Jesus to win and for the whole world to be suddenly startled through her with the intensely relevant news that Jesus, the King can not be kept down and that he will have it all and us all in the end.
How will “those things which are” to be “brought to nothing” and how will Jesus become all in all, to the blessing of all creation and to the glory of the Father in our age? I have no idea. But it will be. And it all begins with matter of fact praise for an empty tomb.
Father, thank you for my grandchildren, for their gifts and creative insights, for their powerful witness to me and the world around them. May I be with them, fighting for your kingdom priorities to fill their lives with light and life and hope as long as I have breath. And Lord Jesus, may I be sometimes utterly caught up in ecstatic praise for your greatness, majesty and love, but even more, Lord, may I be daily, matter-of-fact about your supreme and loving lordship in all I do and think and say, for the sake of your present and coming kingdom. In the name of King Jesus, Amen.