Easter morning. Our usual warm and welcoming mix of new friends and old gathered over coffee and bagels, though a few more than usual were new and a few more than usual had chosen to dress up in honor of the occasion. We were called to begin worship by the music of bagpipes – definitely an innovation, and a very cool one, here at City Church. A simple wooden cross was draped with fresh flowers, and Bill preached from a simple and strong passage – turn around and look, in Jesus the kingdom of heaven has come close enough to touch, near enough to enter.
Then the neighborhood egg hunt began, and the fancy Easter gloves came off! It was laughter-filled chaos. In the video our friend Jordan shot, you can see my daughter body-check a boy, just knock him right off his feet, in hot pursuit of yet another candy-filled egg, and she wasn’t the only one with her eyes on the prize. Then it was over, and everyone was gloating over their booty, except for just one child, in tears – my little boy. I didn’t see what happened; I was still busy pretending I knew how to face paint. But he showed me his nearly empty bag as he collapsed in my lap, wailing.
And the kingdom of God came near. All of his little buddies and several of the older kids gathered around to see what was wrong, and then without any prompting they began reaching into their own brim-full bags and baskets, dropping one egg after another into his until it was overflowing, too. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these, Jesus told us. We receive it with the simple, empty-handed faith of a little child, or not all, he told us.
The party was dwindling, all the eggs gone. And one more neighborhood family arrived, another hopeful young boy with an empty basket. The kingdom that remained gathered once more, this time with my boy sharing, too, from what he’d been so generously given. It was a sermon without words, and it just wrote itself.