Roy Exum: He Is Risen, 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Today is that most special of days when you go to church and, instead of saying, “How are you doing?” or “What are you going to win at today?” the greeting is “He is Risen!”  and the reply between Christians is “He has risen indeed!”  It’s almost as much fun as the Hallelujah Chorus. But what if … just what if … the triumphant Jesus Himself walked in? I hardly mean to be sacrilegious or assuming but, in something of a fun exercise, here is what I think he might say to some people …

-- “I’ve spent some time with your daddy in the past week or so and he’s so happy to be with your mom and sister … little Wren, too …” He might say to any of the 10 Glascock kids who buried their father two weeks ago.

-- “I sure am proud of the way you’ve used your life to enrich so many beautiful girls,” He might say to retiring headmaster Randy Tucker of GPS. “Your graduates all make a difference, too.”

-- “What you do every day for the least of them you do unto me,” He might say to Bob Main who heads the Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. “I was ready for Merv Pregulman several months before he finally got there but you folks did too good a job! Incidentally, I saw Merv running just before I came down and he looks exactly like he did as an All-American at Michigan.”

-- “You are the greatest guy I’ve seen with animals in such a long timer. I was telling Noah about the way you saved the dog Anna after she was stuck in a drain pipe for 17 days,” He might tell Chris Keller, the veterinarian. “We thought you lost her at the start but you got a little extra nudge. I’m proud of you.”

-- “Anybody in public office is going to take a licking but I know how hard you worked at trying to be fair, do the right thing, and do the best for the people. Don’t stop serving others, just because your term is out, because you have a lot of good still left in you,” He might say to outgoing Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

-- “I remember when you were being bad down in New Orleans but all is forgiven and forgotten. What tells your story best comes from the 4,000 happy hearts who will hear your mighty voice this morning” He might say to the sensational pastor at Brainerd Baptist, Robby Gallaty. (Ten years ago Robby was a drug addict and anybody who needs hope should hear him give his testimony next Sunday.)

-- “Every one of my children is wonderfully and gloriously made. And each one has been given a multitude of amazing talents that they should explore and take glory in. Every person in every church this morning can do something better than anybody else. It’s true. Don’t worry that working an iPad isn’t one of your blessings –  you have other tools that I have given you,” He might say to me, watching my fingers fumble.

-- “I remember when you asked your granddaddy if he’d please go with you to church. He hadn’t been going, you know, and today there is a fullness, a warmth in his life, that he’d never known before. All because of you … “He might say to the precious granddaughter of auto wizard Claude Hyde, who today  is the general sales manager at Capital Toyota. (You talk about a great testimony!)

-- “If you want to learn, then go and ask the wild animals and the birds, the flowers and the fish. Any of them can tell you what the Lord has done. Every living creature is in the hands of God,” He might say to the wonderful volunteers at the McKamey Animal Center.

-- “You need to remember something; when you retire there is just one big event left down here on earth! Seriously, you’ve given your life to the kingdom and when what you think is ‘the big event,’ we have prepared a place for you for eternity” He might say to Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church pastor Bill Dudley.

-- “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” He might say to Kyle Hauth, the executive director of Orange Grove, a wondrous place that now serves over 700 of our most tender people.

-- “You must have faith, my child, because without faith there is no hope. Things may seem pretty bleak right now but life changes all the time. If you’re having a struggle, the opposite is pretty nice and it will happen. Have faith –  there’s hope,” He might say to either side of a gut-wrenching divorce.

-- “All of my children are precious in my sight but you, my son … you chose to feed the malnourished in Haiti. You found a way to provide clean water high in the mountains and, with your healing hands, know full and well how you have saved hundreds. But when you come to my side in heaven, you’ll see that it was more like tens of thousands. The ripple effect of the Children’s Nutritional Program has been seen and studied by other groups all over the world” He might say as he embraces Dr. Mitch Mutter just like fabled Lookout Mountain pastor Joe Novenson does all the time.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” He might say to Chattanooga police chief Bobby Dodd and the men and women working so tirelessly on the city’s gang problems.

-- "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." He might say to Michelle Barrett and those at Bethany Christian Services who have helped hundreds here adopt babies.

-- “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” He might say at the Chattanooga Aquarium just celebrated its 20 millionth visitor.

-- “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations,” He might smile as we each and all sing praise and kneel before Him on this most Holy morning.

He is risen. He is risen indeed!

royexum@aol.com



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