Sunday, April 24, 2011
That Unforgettable Easter Lesson
When we were young, we looked forward to all festivals and public holidays with high expectations mostly because of those “wackie and die” kind of buffets, the “all play no work” and the rare liberty to “misbehave” and be pardoned. I particularly remember the nights of Boxing Day when it dawns on me that all the fun wouldn’t spill over into the next day and I suddenly start to wish I could press rewind! Trust me; those were all that mattered those days. Easter Monday was always one of my favorites as we also get to go out unlike other holidays when we were always the ones to host lots and lots of people. Having celebrated many festivals in beautiful ways, these days I only see them as time to rest more, spend time with the family and look forward to resuming work! I guess as you grow older you tend to focus more on the reasons for those seasons.
Talking about Easter, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ bring a lot of lessons for humanity and we can not pretend not to have heard over and over again how Jesus died and “packed” all our sins away and in the process taught us humility by accepting all insults and mockery; forgiveness by praying his father to forgive his persecutors and the need to strengthen our faith when he said “fear not”. Almost everyone even non Christians know these “lessons”; as a matter of fact they have stopped making the kind of impact for which our clergies reel them out every Easter season. I am the wrong guy to analyze what the clergies say and how people respond to God’s word, but I guess I may not have wished for too much if I wish that sermons on such occasions would come as refreshing and liberating as to be obviously practicable.
Like preachers say, when Jesus was being crucified, everything that used to matter stopped to matter, and all that was of this world didn’t matter to him because his mind was focused on going to heaven to give account to his heavenly father – he gave up all he was worth, his miracle working power, his disciples, his family, his pride, his ego, his nakedness and ultimately his life. You must have been told this fact every year and you would gladly nod in approval of it. Truth is that Jesus had something of this world that meant so much to him that he could not let go of, while on the cross. I humbly ask that you please check out John 19:26, 27
“When Jesus therefore saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother “Woman behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home”.
At a time when Peter had shown how erratic he could be, Jesus needed safe hands to care for his mother, remember that one of the direct consequences in the reality of his predicament would mean all friends deserted him, the only man he could trust among the few that stood by him was John his disciple, not even his younger ones or father was deemed fit, that is if they were even there. Obviously, Jesus Christ was not willing to take chances with his sweet mother, even in the condition he found himself.
As I sat legs crossed listening to this sermon on Easter Sunday 2010, the preacher went ahead to ask his congregation rhetorically, “where is your own mother?” For the first time in my adult years I heard an unusual message that moved me to my marrows on Easter Sunday! An important part of the resurrection story that we pay less attention to, or maybe we do pay attention to it but not in the context of its practicability. Not even the numerous Mother’s day sermons have ever taken me this close to seeing how Jesus planned for his mother’s care when he is gone. Like the preacher heard my thoughts, he went further, “what if your mother is dead? Listen, someone must have played the role of a mother in your life!” Now I’m sure someone is also asking what if your mother is a witch and you have been warned to avoid her? Yea right, like I’ve not seen enough of all that in Nollywood movies, lets face it; the least you can do is make a good living condition for her from your distance! At least people live abroad and effectively take care of the home. Caring especially for ones mother isn’t just a cultural or social thing but big time spiritual, if Jesus did it, how much more me? I simply have no excuse.
I’m sure if we were born during Christ’s days on earth, many of us would have said to him “shut up”, and considering the fact that we would have seen him as an illiterate that did not even finish learning carpentry before absconding not caring to note that he wowed scholars at the age of 12. It’s good now to know that Jesus actually “lived” by example on this subject matter and it is easier for me to drive home my points about the need for us to take the care of our mothers now because it is a message from our lord Jesus; we do not have to say to ourselves or our clergies “who are you to tell me that?” as we mostly do when we cannot accept simple but true criticisms.
Twin-X’ 2001 debut hit single “Mother mi” was dedicated to a sweet mum, not as a marketing strategy but simply from the heart and its little wonder that the song started a success story. Churches invited us to perform or well “minister” at special programmes and we would wonder why we enjoyed so much love from the Christian community. The fact that we somehow remained gentle and scandal free may have sold us to them but gradually with our experience with fans in our many travels, we got to see first hand, people’s attachment to their mothers irrespective of religion and culture, which also explains the sentiment a lady enjoys from people the moment she becomes a mother, such that it turns out not to matter at what age she does. Now besides the strength of these timeless sentiments, I’ve also now realized how much of heavenly principles the lyrics of that song are and I will gladly agree when people consider it a gospel song.
I love to say “nothing in this world can make me despise my mama, emi o fe ya alaimo oore si baba to bi mi lomo….” (…and I will not be ungrateful to my father) This has indeed been one of my best Easter moments ever – with or without the plenty chops and it will remain in my heart for ever. May we find the wisdom, grace and all resources to be the best to our mothers. I want to love and care for mine, I want to see her happy and never in tears, I owe this to her and now most definitely to my lord Jesus Christ.