Easter Mangoes

15Apr12

“In the Morning When I Rise, Give Me Jesus” -African American Spiritual

Was it more than a coincidence? We were sitting in the yard outside Lambaré’s Disciples of Christ church, enjoying the congregation’s annual Good Friday campfire and taking in the words of a visiting pastor. He was exhorting us to choose Jesus and not the world, since the world has nothing to offer but empty money, when a late mango fell from a tree, struck my neighbor’s thigh with a thud, and rolled right up to the preacher’s feet. If it was more than a coincidence, then what did it mean?

On the one hand, the falling mango might serve to accentuate the pastor’s message; “Mangos” is slang for money.  What the world has to offer is ultimately perishable. Our hope for what money can buy us falls flat in the face of the deeper, abundant life that Jesus shares with us.

On the other hand, maybe this harvest mango was a counterpoint to the sermon. Does Jesus demand a discipleship that denies nature’s gifts? I don’t think so. Jesus’ stories are full of planting, seeds, and nature. For example, the disciples gather heads of grain to eat while journeying through the fields in Matthew 12. So, the world has good and healthy things to offer.

Putting the two interpretations together, I believe that in light of this Easter moment, our task is to discern what are the healthy things and what are the unhealthy things in the world. What leads to death and what leads to life? What builds our relationships with God and with each other, and what diminishes those relationships?

In the words of the song quoted above,

“You may have all the rest,

give me Jesus.”

Easter Blessings!

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2 Responses to “Easter Mangoes”

  1. Thanks for this reflection. Indeed, I have often thought that there are many things of this world (a ripened mango, blooming dogwoods, a game of cards with a dear friend, a body that allows us to walk, sing, dance, the feeling of wind in our hair) that actually bring us closer to God. Thanks for the reminder that we do need to be discerning: what is good? What brings us closer to life? What separates us from God?
    Blessings to you both on your journey. And keep sharing!

  2. Thandiwe – for sure! Thank you for this thoughtful contribution. I wish you all the best as your semester wraps up!


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