Empty

Plastic Easter eggsMany remember Paul Harvey’s radio broadcasts – his News and Comment and The Rest of the Story -- from the 1950s to the 1990s. Here is an excerpt from one of his beloved broadcasts:

“He was 9 - in a Sunday School class of 8-year-olds. 8-year-olds can be cruel. The third-graders did not welcome Philip to their group. Not just because he was older. He was ‘different.’ He suffered from Down's syndrome and its obvious manifestations: facial characteristics, slow responses, cognitive challenges, and other symptoms of neurodevelopmental disability.

One Sunday after Easter the Sunday school teacher gathered some of those plastic eggs - which pull apart in the middle. 

The Sunday school teacher gave one of these plastic eggs to each child.

On that beautiful spring day each child was to go outdoors and discover for himself some symbol of ‘new life’ and place that symbolic seed or leaf or whatever inside his egg.

They would then open their eggs one by one, and each youngster would explain how his find was a symbol of ‘new life.’

So...

The youngsters gathered around on the appointed day and put their eggs on a table, and the teacher began to open them.

One child found a flower.

All the children ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ at the lovely symbol of new life.

In another was a butterfly. ‘Beautiful,’ the girls said. And it's not easy for an 8-year-old to say ‘beautiful.’ …

The teacher opened the last one, and there was nothing inside.


‘That's not fair!’ someone said. ‘That's stupid!’ said another.


Teacher felt a tug on his shirt. It was Philip. Looking up he said, ‘It's mine. I did do it. It's empty. I have new life because the tomb is empty.’

The class fell silent.

From that day on Philip became part of the group. They welcomed him. Whatever had made him different was never mentioned again.

Philip's family had known he would not have a long life; just too many things wrong with the tiny body. That summer, overcome with infection, Philip died.

On the day of his funeral nine 8-year-old boys and girls confronted the reality of death and marched up to the altar - not with flowers.

Nine children with their Sunday school teacher placed on the casket of their friend their gift of love - AN EMPTY EGG.”

Through the empty tomb Jesus offers a way to new life.

Resurrection brings new meaning to the word “empty.” For all of us and our children here at B&GH, we leave behind the old cavern of darkness shuttered behind the stone of the past and see new light shining on a future of promise.

He is risen. He is RISEN indeed!

Happy Easter.

The Spiritual Development Team at B&GH address the spiritual needs of the children and youth served through relevant relational and spiritual formation activities held on campus at the Leamon E. Rogers Memorial Chapel.

Learn more about Spiritual Development at B&GH.

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