Darren Beebe is serving as a pastoral ministry internship with us this spring semester. Darren recently graduated from WCU in December of 2017 and is currently a Master of Divinity student at Gardner-Webb University Divinity School. Darren has been observing our Sunday School classes this spring and assisting in worship. He has also been serving as one of our RA leaders to elementary school-aged boys on Wednesday afternoons. R.A.s stands for Royal Ambassadors and provides boys the chance to learn how "To have a Christ-like concern for all people; and To carry the message of Christ around the world.”
The other week during RAs we discussed the order of events during Holy Week that led up to Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection. To test the boys on what we learned, I had an Easter egg hunt on the playground. I hid eighteen eggs, and in each egg there was a slip of paper on which a Holy Week event or Bible verse was written. The goal was for the boys to put the events and Bible verses in order of when they occurred. (ex. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, then He cleared the temple, and after that He began to teach in parables to the crowds.) This activity went well, except for one thing… The boys came back with nineteen eggs. I quizzically scratched my head a little, as I knew I had only hid eighteen. After examining their findings more closely, I realized that one of the eggs was hardboiled and dyed blue, not like the other plastic ones. How it came to be on the playground, I do not know. What I do know is that God was speaking through this experience, as He constantly speaks through daily events in our lives if our ears and hearts are open to His voice.
This odd occurrence reminded me of The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27). In this parable, Jesus used the example of a rich man going on a journey and entrusting his wealth to his servants while away. To each servant, the ruler gave a different amount of money according to their capabilities and status. Two servants invested the money and reaped a profit. One servant buried the money in the ground and hid it away, so he did not reap a profit. The ruler came back and was pleased with the two who had generated more wealth. He was not, however, pleased with the third servant.
We are called to be like the first two servants. Through our salvation we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, like the servants in this parable were given part of the master’s wealth. We should not bury our faith and hide it away from others selfishly. We are called to share the love and forgiveness we have received with others, not setting limits and restrictions on God’s grace.
The boys in RAs were given eighteen eggs to find; yet they came back with nineteen. Children, though new to life and in the process of learning many things about our world, are often times great teachers of God’s love and purpose. Jesus himself held children in high regard (ex. Matthew 21:15-16 and Matthew 18:2-6). Perhaps we can learn something from these RAs boys. After all, we have been given the greatest gift of all: God’s love and grace. Let’s share it with all who we encounter through our deeds and actions! Let’s bear good fruit for the kingdom of God! Go and find that nineteenth egg!