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Chappy’s corner “Staying Dead & Buried?”

Ole‘s next door neighbors had a prize winning rabbit. On Saturday Ole was working in his yard when Spot, his dog came up to him with some critter in his mouth.  Spot dropped the dirty animal at Ole’s feet. As Ole brushed the dirt aside he saw his neighbor’s rabbit. Ole looked across his neighbor’s fence and saw the rabbit hutch door open but there was no rabbit.  Ole started to panic and thought “My dog killed their rabbit!”  So Ole took the rabbit inside washed it, and then climbed the fence and placed the rabbit in the cage thinking, “Maybe they will just think it died naturally.”  He went back to his yard work until the neighbor returned home.  Soon Ole heard screaming in the backyard. He went to the fence and said, “What’s the problem?” The neighbor screamed, “The rabbit is dead! The rabbit is dead!”    Ole started to apologize by saying, “I’m sorry your rabbit died” But the neighbor interrupted him and screamed. “You don‘t understand my rabbit died two days ago and we buried it, but now it’s back!”

Now normally when something dies and is buried it stays buried, unless you are watching some horror show which is probably what Ole’s neighbor thought was happening to them.  But the normal way things work is that once it is dead and buried, it stays that way.  Of course the message of Easter changes that message.

I shared the dead rabbit story at our outdoor Easter Sunrise service which happened to be at the local cemetery.  Some might think a graveyard is a strange place for a church service but the Easter story begins in a graveyard.  At the empty tomb the women find an angel who declares that Jesus who was crucified for the sins of the world is now alive. He has risen.  The empty tomb shows that Christ’s resurrection guarantees His promise of eternal life to all who trust in him as their Lord and Savior. That is the key teaching of the Christian faith.

Because of Christ God forgives and our past is forgotten or as the bible declares “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34) In Jesus our sins are dead and buried.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us could learn to do the same with those around us?  Instead of being bitter and resentful or holding on to grudges, why not forgive and move on.  Sadly many folks struggle to forgive. As Garth Brooks, the musician once sang, “We bury the hatchet but leave the handle sticking out!”  We struggle to forgive, but if we remember how God forgives then we hopefully can strive to do the same with others.  A great place to start is within one’s own family. Just imagine what the world  would be like if husbands and wives learned to forgive one another; children forgiving parents and parents forgiving their children, sisters and brothers forgiving one another and even in-laws learning to forgive each other.  Truly this world would be a better place if we learned to bury the old hurts and leave them stay dead and buried.

That’s just my thoughts from this Sunny SE corner of South Dakota!

CH (COL) David Gunderson

JFHQ SDARNG