Two memorable Easter stories, from two decades.

Back in the late sixties, we had gone out as a family to do some shopping on the Saturday before Easter.  I had picked up a toy (either through allowance money, or through wrangling my parents into it)- a cap gun.  Not just any cap gun, either.  This took those round plastic rings of “bullets”, and the toy revolver had eight shots before needing a refill.  The gun looked similar to this

(although it didn’t have the “this is fake” endcap on the barrel), and the rings were similar to

(pix from xJasonRogersx and timsnell)

We got home from shopping late enough on Saturday that I didn’t fire the gun that night.  The next morning was Easter, and Mark and I were up early to see what the Easter Bunny had brought us.  After chowing down on some great munchies, I decided in my ten-year-old wisdom to show him how far I could pull the trigger on the gun before it fired.  Yes, this would be the loaded gun, with caps full of noisemaking goodness.  And right outside our sleeping parents’ bedroom door.

The laws of physics worked.  I pulled the trigger too far, the spring-loaded hammer released, and the cap exploded.  Quite nicely, thank you.  Then my Dad exploded out of the bedroom door.  I don’t remember if I got a spanking for the Easter morning wake-up call, but I know I lost the gun for a long time – probably months.  And I deserved it (from this perspective, anyway).

The other Easter story I have is from the 1980s.  It was our first Easter Sunday at the Nazarene church in Middletown.  Wesley Poole, a great man of faith and a man of great faith, came up to Bettie and I and said in a triumphant voice “He is risen!”.  The correct response would have been “He is risen indeed!”.  Bettie and I, coming from a different background, didn’t know the tradition and replied “Yes, He is!”.  Brother Poole gently explained to us how it was supposed to work, and then we tried it again.  “He is risen!”  “He is risen indeed!”

And we have  been enjoying and sharing our new tradition ever since.

In researching this Resurrection Sunday tradition, I wanted to see if it was scriptural.  And it is.  From the New King James version, Luke 24:6 and 24:34

He is not here, but is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed

And now that you have had the tradition explained to you, and the correct response provided, I invite you to join Bettie and I:

He is risen!