Our new youth series is an episodic adventure featuring the Easter Bunny's visit to the UPG! Input and ideas from the comments section will determine the future of Hairy's adventures! Make sure to add your thoughts in the comments.
Special thanks to Diane Horoschock for illustrating Hairy in today's post!
CHAPTER FIVE! EASTER EVE
"Faith comes from hearing the Good News about Jesus Christ!"
- Romans 10:17
When Randall’s mother found out what he did to Hairy, she was not pleased. She ordered Randall to wash the dishes and clean the basement. But she knew chores weren’t enough to heal Hairy’s feelings. “Randall,” his mother announced when he had finished mopping the basement floor, “Mr. Hare will be joining us for dinner on Saturday.”
“NO!” Randall cried.
“And you will apologize to our guest,” Randall’s mother continued.
“NEVER!” Randall swore.
“Or I will tell Hairy not to leave you any candy on Easter Sunday,” Randall’s mother ended.
“INJUSTICE!” Randall declared at the top of his lungs.
But no amount of yelling can change a parent’s mind (I’m sure YOU know that!). Late that Saturday evening, Hairy hopped up the sidewalk and knocked on Randall’s door.
It was the Saturday before Easter. Do you know what day that is? Some people call it Holy Saturday. I call it the Vigil of Easter. Randall’s family called it Easter Eve, and they always celebrated with a big dinner.
The table was already set when Hairy arrived. The food looked delicious! Randall’s sister said grace, and then everyone dug in! No one said anything for a long time. They were too busy eating and slurping and munching and gulping.
“I miss church,” Randall’s sister said after a long time. “Easter Vigil is the best church service of the year, and this year we’re going to miss it. That’s when we get to hear the whole story of the Bible, everything from the very beginning right to the part where Jesus comes back.”
“We could tell the story right here!” Randall’s mother said with a smile.
“We can’t tell the whole story of the bible,” Randall complained, “we’d be here all night.”
“We can tell a short version,” Randall’s mother said, and so she began. “In the beginning God made everything: the light, the earth, the land, the oceans, the sky, the stars, and all the animals! Finally, God made us, and God loved us very much.”
“But God didn’t stop there,” Randall’s sister said. “God went here and there throughout history helping people like you and me in times of trouble and distress!
“When a big flood was coming, God came to Noah and told him how to build a boat to float away to safety,”
“When Abraham and Sarah wanted a child, God gave them their son Isaac!” his mother added. “Once God’s people were held captive by a terrible Pharaoh! What do you think God did then? God parted the waves of a giant sea and helped God’s people escape to the other side!
“God saved Jonah from the belly of a whale,” his sister said.
“Fish,” Randall corrected her. He was a real Know-It-All.
“And God saved Daniel’s friends from a fiery furnace!
“God cared for them all like a loving parent,” his mother continued. “Just like a mother of father, God loves us, even when we mess up.”
“That’s called steadfast love!” Randall’s sister added. “There’s all sorts of ways to explain our relationship with God. God once told a man named Isaiah to ask everyone: ‘is anyone thirsty? Come to God and drink! Even if you don’t have money, you can drink all the juice and milk you want. It’s all free!’!”
“If he really loved us there’d be Mountain Dew there, too,” Randall interrupted rudely.
“A long time after that, a woman was going to a well to get some water,” Randall’s mother continued. “A man was waiting there and he told her: ‘Anyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again. But I have water that will quench your thirst forever!’”
“And that was Jesus!” Randall’s sister added.
“That’s right! Jesus is God’s great gift to us, because Jesus is God! He came to earth as a human and walked about and cared for the poorest and sickest among us. He taught us about God’s Kingdom, where the least important are the most important!”
Their mother continued, “In God’s Kingdom the poor are in charge! The sad are comforted! Those who are hungry are always fed! Those who are kind to others always receive kindness in return! But not everyone liked the idea of this new kingdom, and so people like you and me did a terrible thing. They took Jesus and crucified him.”
“But that’s not the end of the story!” his sister added brightly. “Jesus came back!”
“That’s right,” Randall’s mother agreed. “After three days Jesus returned from the dead, just as he promised he would. And that’s what we celebrate tomorrow, on Easter!”
“We celebrate it every Sunday, actually!” Randall’s sister reminded her mother.
“Actually,” Randall’s mother said with a smile, “we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection every single day! By spreading the good news!”
“And by trusting the Holy Spirit!” Randall’s sister exclaimed.
“And by working with our friends at the UPG!” his mother added.
Hairy held his paws together and bobbed his head back and forth. He meant, “and by reading the Bible!”
“AND BY ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS!” Randall shouted!
Everyone turned to Randall in surprise. I suppose he got caught up in the story and forgot he liked to be rude and contrary all the time. He was on his feet with his arms joyfully in the air when he realized what had happened.
When someone is embarrassed, they often act without thinking. That’s exactly what Randall did. He did a very bad thing. He took his dinner plate and smashed it on the ground.
“RANDALL!” his mother cried, but Randall didn’t say another word. He crossed his arms and stomped out of the dining room and up the stairs. He slammed the door of his bedroom behind him.
His sister didn’t waste a moment. She was out of her chair and on the floor cleaning the broken plate and spilled food.
“And by forgiving others in return,” she reminded her mother.
Randall’s family skipped a lot in their story. What’s YOUR favorite part of the bible?
What do YOU do when you’re embarrassed? What do you do when you’ve embarrassed someone else?
FAITH is what happens when you trust in Jesus! What did Saint Paul mean when he wrote “FAITH comes from hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ”?
POST your answers below or on our Facebook page and we’ll incorporate your thoughts and ideas into the next episodes!