“Mrs. Becky! I’m just going to play a practical joke and only put one jelly bean in some eggs…wait, Mrs. Becky, what’s the difference between a joke and a practical joke? Mrs. Becky what would happen if I filled it to the top with jelly beans? Would it spill? Hey, what do you have to do to get lunch around here? Mrs. Becky, do you think the little kids will find these eggs? Wait, are the eggs hidden or do you just put them around on the grass? Hey, I want lunch by the way. What are we having for dinner tonight? Do you think my friend MacKenzie is coming to church tonight? What do I want to be when I grow up? A teacher, doctor, rock band singer and travel the world. But wait, maybe just travel the country because I don’t know how to speak any other languages yet. Learning languages seems like too much work…”
And on, and on, and on eight year-old Jacey chattered while I worked to get goodie bags, Easter eggs, devotional materials and a craft ready for Sunday morning. And bless sweet Jacey’s heart, but if she says something and you don’t reply in some way, she just repeats the same sentence over and over until you’ve acknowledged her.
She was at the church while her grandmother (a member of our children’s ministry staff) worked in another part of the building on another project we needed to get done for the week. When I arrived, she began trailing me, asking questions, making conversation and keeping me on my toes.
So I put her work. Filling bags, filling Easter eggs, sorting materials. She chattered the whole time. I love Jacey so very much, but I admit I was growing a tiny bit weary when all of a sudden she said,
“Mrs. Becky, some of the jobs we do together are so boring, but I’ll do them because I just like to be with you.”
I stopped sorting pencils and turned to her. “Jacey, you know what? I really like to be with you, too.” (And if being with you means listening to you chatter incessantly and answering a zillion questions, it’s totally worth it, I added in my head.)
As we continued to work, I started to think about Jesus and the Disciples.
I would guess that there were plenty of times they weren’t exactly enjoying the work they were doing. The walking probably got pretty old after awhile. Always having to deal with the stuffy religious leaders or people ridiculing their work and leader was likely exhausting. I mean, sure there were plenty of exciting moments–miracles and wonders…but I’m guessing there were times when the mundane tasks were overwhelming.
“Jesus, some of the work we do together is so boring, but we’ll do it because we just like to be with you,” I can imagine them saying.
Accepting the Cup Jesus offered them at the table that night meant more than just a mundane ministry. The men gathered around that table accepted that at times the call to follow and drink from the cup would mean danger…or trouble…or exhaustion…or death.
The men and women who still gather at Christ’s table share the same cup. It’s not always glamorous or exciting or comfortable to follow Jesus…but if it means we get to be with Jesus, we’ll drink and share the work to be done.