May 2011

‘I need a wee!’ A week spent in Scotland with Tom, Jen, Euan and Zach; great fun, but punctuated by Zach’s cry – he was in the midst of being potty trained, and although he could have frequently used it, he has not yet mastered the past tense – let the reader understand.We spent the week hunting – the boys hunted Legomen at Culzean Castle, Bugs at Castle Kennedy, and Beasties in the rock pools of Ballantrae, the girls hunted bargains in Ayre, and Tom hunted for peace and quiet!

Culzean Castle – with delightful gardens and a Swan Pond, hides a Legoman in each room of the Castle, so while the girls took the tour, Tom and I took the boys hunting.  Zach was surprisingly good at finding them, although sometimes you needed to lift him to eyeline height to see the hidden men.  As soon as he spotted one, he shouted “There’s a man, I see him.” And danced with excitement – a little awkward if you were holding him.  The men were located in all sorts of places, but the light fittings seemed to be one of the favourite places.   At the end, they had to say which room they couldn’t find one in, and so win the Legoman Hunt sticker, which both boys proudly wore.

Euan and Zach share a deep interest in bugs – so much so, that when we saw some ‘bug motif’ coats, we couldn’t resist buying them one each – admired for their accuracy by the ‘bug’ lady, who demonstrated many bugs and how to build a ‘bug hotel’.  By the time we got to the rock pools, Zach only wanted to jump in, but Euan was entertained by the array of hermit crabs, shrimps, and fish that Tom in particular was very good at finding.  As for bargain hunting – you’ll just have to ask the girls!

We returned in time for Holy Week, and many home Communions.  At each communion, we read the resurrection stories.  The women make their way to the Tomb, only to find it opened and empty.  In Matthew, Mark and Luke, they see an angel or two, who tells them (in the shorter version in Luke), “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (The Bible, Luke 24.5-6) Unlike the boys, who looked for their Legomen, bugs & rock pool beasts in the right places, Mary and the women were looking in the wrong place.  The last time they had seen Jesus, he was dead and being buried by Joseph and Nicodemus – no wonder they looked for him in the tomb, as they went to tenderly do the last decent thing for him by re-wrapping the body.  But even after they saw the tomb and heard the angel, they continued to look in the tomb for a dead Jesus. John records that Mary lingers after the others have left puzzled; Mary yet again peers into the tomb and again the angels say, “Woman, why are you crying?” (The Bible, John 20.13) Mary is still looking for the wrong thing – a body – in the wrong place – the tomb.  Jesus is not dead, and the tomb is not full.

All of us look for meaning and purpose in our life, look for contentment and fulfilment, and dream of a life which will stretch beyond the grave, for death seems to make a mockery of all that we hold dear and question the very value of our lives.  But the joyful Easter news is that God has given us a path back to Him and eternal life, and His “Yes!” to Jesus’ death in our place is celebrated by Jesus’ resurrection.  When we would find peace and joy and hope, it is all too easy to look in the wrong place.

Mary and the women found only perplexity in the empty tomb; they looked in the wrong place, and found a mystery – when they looked in the right place, they found Jesus – and hope, joy, peace, meaning and purpose.

Praying that you look in the right place, find Jesus, and in him and his resurrection, hope, joy, peace, meaning and purpose.

Your servant in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Simon Cox.