Monday, April 6, 2015

Big Bubba

Our Pastor told us a story that went something like this:

Bubba wanted to be a preacher. He looked more like a linebacker. When he stood in the pulpit just turning the pages of his Bible made folks want to repent just by watching his biceps flex.

Bubba was so excited when he performed his first wedding ceremony. His friend Joey was getting married to his childhood sweetheart, Ann.  Other than the fact, that Joe stood as tall as Bubba and Ann was just a hair over five feet—they were a perfect match.

It wasn’t long until they heard the news, Joey and Ann were having a baby. They added a room to their trailer and already had it painted blue. If all went well they’d celebrate Easter at home with their new baby boy.  

But, life happened…and ended for wife and child.

That was Saturday.

Sunday, Bubba couldn’t think of a thing to preach. Oh, he had his Easter sermon all written out and ready to go, but words just wouldn’t come.

He stood before the congregation with that sermon all prepared but he couldn’t see the page. He opened his mouth and the words, “If Christ be not risen…” fell out.

He wanted to quote from 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

But his throat squeezed shut and his tongue froze, because of what he saw when he raised his head. There he sat, no wife, no child…just Joey, alone.

His eyes blurred. Joey’s already had.

Some folks seated near Joey reached for him, and one by one they started to weep. The preacher could see their shoulders shake.

He looked to the pulpit to the words on the page but it was no use—it was all a blur. A tear fell and made it worse. “If Christ be not risen,” once more he managed to say.

Joey cleared his throat and wiped his eyes and pulled himself to his feet. He looked at Bubba through watery eyes. “But…but Pastor—” he shook his head and lifted a small quivering smile— “He is risen.” Joey looked up and his hands shot toward heaven and through the tears and through the sobs and through the pain and through the joy and through the sorrow of it all, he shouted for all the world to hear and for all of heaven to rejoice… “HE.IS.RISEN!” He rubbed a forearm across his eyes and swallowed hard, his words were strong and aimed toward heaven.  “Even still…I will love You, even now, I will give You praise.” 

Joey looked to the pastor one more time and the pastor was making his way to Joey, but it was too late. The whole church was on their feet and had surrounded Joey in great big hundred arm strong group hug.

And from somewhere, or everywhere, voices started to sing like a choir filled with angels...

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

Bubba only said five words, but he’ll tell you it was the best sermon he ever preached.


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