Several years ago my brother and I attended the same church and we were among a circle of people who told children’s stories. Often our stories were about Little Billy and the congregation soon became suspicious that the stories had some basis of reality in our past.
We had grown up together in a family of one sister and three young brothers. The stories may or may not have been based in that reality.
Today, I would like to tell you about Little Billy’s Easter Adventure.
You see Little Billy didn’t have much of a church background. In fact, the only time he could remember being in church was at his Great Grampa’s funeral. That was the first time Billy had ever seen a dead person. They had actually stayed overnight in Great Grampa’s house and lots of people had come to visit. They all seemed sad to see Great Grampa in the big box but Billy thought he kinda looked like he was sleeping. It got a little scary, though when Billy had to settle down and sleep himself that night.
The next day they went to the church and he felt much better when they closed the big box so that he couldn’t see Great Grampa during the service. But the funeral is a whole other story for another day.
Today I want to tell you about the next time that Little Billy went to church. It was Easter Sunday and he was invited by his friend Luke. It was really the first time Billy had been to a regular church. The singing and stuff was OK but what he really liked was the time downstairs after they all went up front. Luke had said that the Pastor would be preachin’ upstairs but they would have a story and snacks and stuff down stairs.
The teacher downstairs told them all about Jesus dying on the cross (Billy wondered about the connection between church and dying). Then, they were told that Jesus was put in a tomb to be buried (Billy didn’t know what a tomb was but he figured it must be one of those boxes like his Great Grampa was in. What had his dad called it? It was a coffing or something like that). Billy just pictured Jesus in a big box for three days. Then came the surprise ending. God had a special treat for Jesus and his gang. He made Jesus alive again. He would go to heaven and his Spirit would stay with his gang and help them to become loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind and self-controlled people who would have a positive impact on others. Well Billy had never heard of that before and so he was excited about it when he went home.
His dad asked him what he learned at church and Little Billy tried to tell the story as best he could. He told about Jesus and the way he died on the cross. Then his memory let him down. He knew Jesus was put in something that started with a “T” and in his mind he pictured the big box. The only word he could think of was trunk.
“They put Jesus’s dead body in a trunk,” Billy said. “But God had a special power and he treated Jesus and his gang with a special surprise when he made Jesus alive again and took him out of the trunk. It was the original Trunk or Treat!”
This Halloween at First Baptist we want to help children like Little Billy have a safe time collecting treats and also discover a little more about Jesus and his help to be kind, loving and self controlled. So, in honour of Little Billy we are hosting a Trunk or Treat event in the church parking lot. Check out the details on our Facebook page or give us a call.
By the way, the original treat was not just for Jesus and his gang. It was a treat offered to all of us.
Rev. John Dunnett is Pastor at First Baptist Church in New Glasgow.