Before I was a store owner, I was a Youth Leader. And Easter was a time that was so very commercialized, what with rabbits and eggs and candy and all.
so...the Wednesday before Easter, I told my kids(middle and high school kids) this story that I heard first hand from a Youth Leader that was there...
She had an eight year old boy named Stephen in her Sunday School class. He had some mental/ brain issues that were becoming more and more severe.
In April, she gave her eight kids an empty L'Eggs container (remember those?) and asked her kids to bring them back the next week with something inside that represented new life in spring.
The kids brought them back the next week, and not sure what Stephen had done, and not wanting to embarrass him, she had all the kids bring the eggs to her desk so that she could open them in front of the class.
The first had a teeny tiny little flower in it. "What a lovely sign of new life"...and the child that brought that one couldn't help but yell..."I brought that one"...
Next one had a rock in it. The teacher assumed this one was Stephens, so she set it aside. The student that brought that one said that was his, and it had new moss on it, and the teacher agreed that it was a good example of new life.
A small bug was alive in the next egg, and the student that brought that one said that hers was the best egg, yet!
The fourth egg was empty. Knowing that this was probably Stephens, the teacher quickly set this one aside and reached for another.
"Teacher, please don't skip mine", Stephen said.
"But it's empty," she replied.
"That's right, said Stephen, the tomb was empty and that represents new life for everyone".
Later that summer, Stephen got very sick and died. At his funeral, mourners found eight plastic eggs on his casket, all of them empty.
The true story of Stephen reminds us of the hope that we all have, because of the resurrection.
May all of your Easter celebrations have some empty eggs in it...
I wish you all a Happy Easter