It was five o’clock in the morning and I was half asleep and half awake. All of a sudden, the hymn “Shall We Gather at the River” by Robert Lowry came to my mind along with a humorous memory. It was announced one Sunday at my church that the congregation would sing that hymn as a recessional. I had recently heard the hymn sung in an old western movie shown on television. For some reason, I half expected some cowboys to come riding in to help us sing that song. Hey! Wait a minute! Why am I thinking about all this today at 5 a.m.? Perhaps I should write a blog post.
Well, it got me thinking about other Hey! Wait a minute! happenings that we read about in the gospels. Allow me to elaborate.
Hey! Wait a minute! In Matthew, Chapter 5:38-42, Jesus tells us to offer our other cheek if someone strikes us on our right cheek! And if anyone takes our coat, offer him our cloak as well! We are supposed to go two miles if we are asked to go one mile? What? How selfless should we be?
Hey! Wait a minute! In Matthew 18, we are told to forgive another who has sinned against us not only seven times, but seventy-seven times! Just how generous are we supposed to be?
Hey! Wait a minute! That woman in John 8:1-11 was an adulteress! She is supposed to be stoned! What does the teacher say? We can stone her only if we are without sin! What? She was not condemned by Jesus and was given a second chance. Maybe we should be merciful to others? Think about the times we were allowed to start over!
Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, had been dead for four days, but when Jesus got to the tomb and called Lazarus, the man walked out of the tomb! (John 11:38-44) Hey! Wait a minute! Can we expect Jesus to work miracles in our lives? He is God, isn’t He? If we think about it, I bet we can think of times Jesus has already worked wonders for us!
In John 18, Pilate asks Jesus if he is a king. Jesus answers that his kingdom is not in this world. Hey! Wait a minute! Weren’t the people looking for a new king on earth? Jesus is testifying about a kingdom of truth and everlasting life, where God the Father and the Holy Spirit reign with Jesus, he Son! Do you mean this earth is not the end-all and be-all? What? Maybe the material world isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
Hey! Wait a minute! Didn’t Jesus die on the cross! Didn’t they take his body to the tomb? What do you mean the tomb is empty? (John 20:1-10) What? Look again! When our hope is gone, God can raise us up to new hopefulness! His love for us deserves many double takes! Especially in this Easter season, we can bask in his great love for us and give him heartfelt praise!
Jesus instituted the sacrament of reconciliation right there in that house where the fearful disciples were sequestered. (John 20:19-23) Hey! Wait a minute! The disciples were locked in that house, and yet the Risen Jesus came to them! He got in! What doors do we lock in our lives? Let’s let Jesus in and just see what he will do with us! Let’s be open to his healing love!
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.