Today my sons showed me their farms. Andrew, aged 12, took me around his grand-father’s farm where he has spent his spring break working. He took me to see the places where he had been filling empty post-holes, and other holes left by tree stumps and animals. He had filled them with soil, tamped them down and then re-seeded them. We went to the barn to collect straw that he spread over the seeded areas to protect the soon emerging grass.
We then went on a little tour in which he showed me the fox-hole where a local vixen is raising her cubs, the bird nest where a blue-bird is incubating six tiny blue eggs, and the two orphan calves, Sugar and Burma, who are now out in the field eating regular grass. It was wonderful to see Andrew’s delight in showing me all the signs of life on the land that he loves. It was also great to see him thriving on a Virginia farm, a place I would never have imagined raising my own kids when a child growing up in English suburbia.
My other son, Daniel, aged 10, also showed me his farm. He showed me the cow barn, the pig sty, and the grain mill. He showed me the vegetable gardens and the cottages where his laborers live. All that he showed me was on the computer screen, because unlike his brother, Daniel prefers to do his farming in the safer environment of an electronic world. His preference is the virtual and fictional while his brother prefers the substantial activity of the real thing.
Some like to dismiss the story of Jesus as nothing more than a fairy tale. Others think of it as a great moral story that has some great lessons for the modern world but nothing more. For the Christian community the message of the cross and the resurrection is the pinnacle of the greatest story ever told, and also the greatest reality about life. That Jesus, the anointed one of God lived among us, died for the forgiveness of our sins and then rose up in new death-conquering life, is an amazing sequence of fact to the Christian. As far as everyone else is concerned they are found in two broad categories. There are those who have heard, and have dismissed or ignored, and then there are those who have never heard, and therefore never had the opportunity to weigh for themselves the claims of Christ.
This week my sons have both enjoyed the opportunity to view new life; the one in the reality of rural America and the other in the virtual of the computer game. I pray they will both always know the difference between the real and the unreal, the true and the untrue, and that which leads to real life, and that which leads to the fake. More than that though, may the truly new life in Christ always trump the wide variety of fake alternatives.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday 2014 – Happy Resurrection Day!