A Presbyterian congregation recently lost their pastor to retirement. The congregation did some visioning and decided they wanted to go in some bold new directions. They needed someone younger to bring fresh ideas. So the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) decided to go after some newly minted seminary graduates to lead them in a bold new era.
The PNC narrowed the field down to three candidates. They decided to get them together and interview them in person one after the other. They developed some preliminary questions but they thought one way to get at theological underpinnings might be to ask the candidates “What is Easter?
The day came and the three candidates eagerly awaited their interviews. The first candidate was invited in to meet with the PNC but when she was asked “What is Easter?” she looked like a deer in the headlights. Stammering and stuttering she said, “Uh Easter is… uh …well ….Easter is a time every November when people get together with families and show their thanks for what God has done in there lives.”
The PNC members sat in stunned disbelief. At first they thought maybe she was joking but they realized she was sincere. They politely wrapped up the interview and, upon her exit, concluded among themselves that surely this was just an exceptional case that some how slipped through the system.
The PNC regrouped and invited the second candidate in for an interview. When they came to the Easter question, to their amazement, they got the same kind of response! “Er..uh…well, Easter is a time every December when people get together with families, exchange gifts, and celebrate Jesus in their lives.”
The PNC could not believe what they were hearing. “What are they teaching at seminaries?” they thought to themselves. They quickly wrapped up the interview and dismissed the candidate. The reality of what they had gotten themselves into was beginning to sink in. They began to doubt that they could ever find a satisfactory pastor.
They invited the last candidate in, their hopes all but gone. They started the interview and once more they asked the question about Easter. The candidate, without batting an eye said, “Ah, Easter. Possibly my favorite event in the Christian Calendar. Easter occurs on the Sunday that follows the Jewish Passover celebration each year in the spring.”
The PNC members suddenly felt hope swelling within them once again.
Continuing, he said, “It is a time when we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a celebration of the event where Jesus was laid in the tomb, arose on the third day, the stone was rolled back, and Jesus emerged from the tomb!”
The PNC was now nearly beside themselves with Joy. God had answered their prayers!
Sensing their delight in his answer, the candidate continued to expound, “And, of course, having emerged from the tomb, Jesus looked to see if he could see his shadow and whether he needed to spend six more weeks in the tomb.”
HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!