Janet's Jargon

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter--a new take on an old tale

OK, I admit it is long past sunrise, when the first Easter escapades were supposed to have occurred. I make no apologies; it's been a busy day. My husband and I did go to church this morning. Let me give you a bit of background.

We had a pastor (a couple of pastors ago) who was a combination minister/psychologist. We thought that was a great idea--until he began to question almost everything in the Bible. He would start out pretty good, but then he would take a sharp turn (I'm not sure if it was to the left or the right) and would continue with "Now what it says is not really what it means. Here's what I think it means..." And it was pretty hard for him to instill faith in anybody in the congregation, since he didn't claim to believe much himself. Maybe it's something with a scientific mind or something. I never quite figured it out. He was a nice enough fellow, but...well, you get the picture.

The next pastor was much better, but we knew it was just a stopgap. He was elderly, retired, and the last I heard after living in North Dakota for most of his life he decided to stay in Hawaii when he went there to visit his son. I can't say I blame him. He was much better in the sermon department, and he did seem to have a sincere faith, which to me is crucial for a minister.

So when his time ran out (at least in our church) we really lucked out. We got a fellow who is originally from Ohio, but he has lived in ND long enough to know that we ain't perfect--weatherwise or peoplewise! He seems to accept us anyway, which is a big plus for a minister. He has a delightful sense of humor, sort of a dry wit. You don't see it coming, and when it strikes it sometimes takes a minute or two to sink in, but then you realize just how funny it really was. In my book, he's a definite keeper. His name is Keith Mills. If you ever wander into Grand Forks, ND, I would like to invite you to a Sunday service at the Federated Church to judge for yourself.

Anyway, today was Easter Sunday. I guess I'm as guilty as the next person of thinking I "know it all" when it comes to the old familiar stories in the Bible. Keith does tend to keep it new and fresh and often puts a slightly new slant on things, and at the beginning of today's sermon, he said that was what he was going to try to do.

But he was way past that point. We have a "step story" where all the kids go up and sit on the steps that go up to the altar and podiumns. He started today by telling the kids that he was going to tell them a mystery story.

I am a writer. In fact, most of you know that I write mysteries. I have my Patrick and Grace Mysteries (you can see all about them at http://crumbycapers.tripod.com ) and soon I will also have my first Max Stryker Mystery out (go to http://janetesmithstarbooks.tripod.com ). So when Keith started talking mysteries, I figured he had wandered over into my territory.

I had never really thought about the same old Easter story in terms of a mystery--until today. He had the kids spellbound when he told them about Mary Magdalene going to the tomb and finding the stone rolled away. He plaited them with questions such as "How could anybody roll away such a big stone?" "Where would they have taken the body of Jesus, if it was robbers?" "If it was robbers, why did they stop to take time to put the wrapping from around his head in a neat pile? When you have done something wrong and you want to get out in a hurry, do you stop to fold up your clothes first?" "When the disciples went running back to the tomb after Mary told them that Jesus was MIA, what did they expect to find? Were they looking for clues to solve the mystery of the century?" "When they got back to the tomb and Mary saw the angels inside, who did she think they were?" "What about the Roman soldiers? They were supposed to be guarding the tomb? What had happened to them?"

So yes, I looked at the same old familiar tale in a totally new light. If it hadn't already been written, it would make a great mystery!

And now, a reminder that on April 23rd, we will be having a real Storm here at my blog. Joyce Anthony will be my guest. And in keeping with the "Book 'em, Danno" (or "book 'em, Storm!"--available on amazon.com and lots of other places)--here is your next trivia question. For many years Hawaii 5-0 was the longest running TV police show on TV. It has been replaced by one other program as the holder of that honor. What show holds the record now, and when did Hawaii 5-0 start and end?

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  • At 8:23 PM, Blogger unwriter said…

    You're right, that is a good mystery story. As for the trivia question, the only one I can think of is Law and Order.


  • At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Detra Fitch said…

    I am the one who has been drinking all the coffee. ;-)

  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger NightRainbow said…

    Ok--I can't think of the exact title--police show--I think Blue was in the title--was it LA \Blues?? I hve no clue--but I never watched Hawaii 5-o either :-)
    I prefer a good spiritual tale like Storm :-) Or the mystery from your preacher--smart fellow he is!!!
    Joyce http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/

  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger Nina M. Osier said…

    Your pastor certainly knows how to engage the children, Janet! That's so important. The best kids' messages, I think, are those that the adults find equally interesting. If I'm ever around your area on a Sunday morning, I'll stop by for sure.


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