Where’s Your Rock?
Rickie Miller of Simi Valley, CA, USA
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you….”
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.
You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. -Psalm 16:1-2, 7-11 NRSV
One of the first things we do after Easter is roll “the rock” away. The rock is a giant four-foot square piece of industrial foam molded into the shape of a boulder. I direct as young men slide the rock up the ladder, over the pulpit, and into the storage loft over the baptismal font.
When I first heard of Community of Christ, I was inquiring about renting the house next door and cleaning the church. One of the first items I noticed was this giant piece of ugly foam. I had to get rid of that rock. So I pushed and pulled and yanked and sweated it down the aisle of the church. The rock and I laboriously rolled out the front door.
Then it got away from me.
What must it have looked like to see a middle-aged woman chasing a giant foam rock down the busiest street in Simi Valley? And it was headed to the concrete riverbed 15 feet down, narrowly missing passing cars. Fortunately, a motorist stopped it at the last minute and helped me to roll it back to the church.
After realizing the rock wasn’t going to fit anywhere else, I simply rolled it to the corner of the sanctuary. I brushed the leaves and bushes off and covered it with a blue tablecloth.
The next Sunday when I showed up for church, the rock had vanished! I looked everywhere. I figured I had ruined the rock and the congregation was preparing the arrest warrant in the deacon’s study! Weeks went by. No rock sighting. Not a mention of the rock.
One day, seated in the front row, I looked up at the cross, and tucked in the back of the loft, still covered with the blue tablecloth, was THE ROCK! Since that time, I’ve watched that rock roll all over the sanctuary. I’ve rolled it myself. One Good Friday I was flattened by the rock on the way down the ladder-it got away from me again.
The rock has served us well, appearing on Halloween, Good Friday, and often has been decorated in Easter flowers. Someone suggested we throw it out this year. I told them I couldn’t do that. That rock has to roll.
Jesus has risen, but He is often kept in the tomb of our hearts instead of shared with Easter gladness. After the Easter rejoicing, let us remember there will be much more joy in heaven when we learn to roll away the rocks that keep Jesus from living within us.
Spirit now live in me.
Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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