I loved them all…
Popeye, The Flintstones, Davey and Goliath, Mister Magoo, Bugs Bunny and Friends, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Hokey Wolf, Snagglepuss, Yakky Doodle, Deputy Dawg, The Jetsons, Touché Turtle, Wally Gator, The Mighty Hercules, Casper, Jonny Quest, Underdog, Kimba the White Lion, Adam Ant, Secret Squirrel, Hillbilly Bears, Precious Pup, Squiddly Diddly, Winsome Witch, King Kong, The Lone Ranger, Tarzan, Superman, Aquaman, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Space Ghost, Speed Racer, The Pink Panther, George of the Jungle, The Banana Splits, Shazzan, The Arabian Knights…
The list is long and distinguished!
One of my particularly favorite characters was Mr. Peabody, an erudite dog who appeared in the animated series Rocky and Bullwinkle, produced by Jay Ward. Mr. Peabody himself (voiced by Bill Scott) starred in the "Peabody's Improbable History" segments created by Ted Key, wherein he would take an insufferably naïve boy named Sherman on wonderful trips back in time with the famed “WABAC” machine. Together, they visited every time and place from ancient Rome to the American Revolution. (This all may help to explain my love for history that exists to this very day.)
In any event, the opening sequence for “Peabody’s Improbable History” always involved a big parade. At the end, a little janitor always came by, busily sweeping up the street. For some reason, that particular image has stuck with me for decades. As I have reflected on this, I have often wondered if it was because of what it symbolized for me.
You see, Saturday morning was always a fun time in my life, a time of lying around the living room and snacking and enjoying my cartoons at leisure. But as quickly as this time always came, it also ended - right around mid-day.
And I then had to get up and get moving. For, living on a farm, I had plenty of chores awaiting me. That usually started with turning off the television and cleaning up my immediate surroundings, then moving on to my room, and eventually, it radiated out from there!
I share this memory for its special relevance on this Monday after Easter. You see, believers worldwide celebrated this past Sunday morning, as well we should have. For we remembered with joy the sacrificial and redemptive work of Jesus Christ of our behalf. But now that day has passed. The party has now ended; and the followers of Christ have work to do!
As tempting as it may be, we simply cannot stay on the Mount of Transfiguration, build our proverbial tents, and forever remain there beholding the glory of our Lord, as Peter longed to do in Matthew 17:1-9. Nor can we afford simply to stand around gazing up into the air looking for the return of Jesus, as the Disciples initially did at His ascension in Acts 1:10-11.
Rather we must embrace the demanding words of Jesus to His Disciples (in Matthew 28:16-20) just before He departed to the right hand of the Father:
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Here, Jesus stresses, nay, He demands, that we embrace three things…
The Submission (to His Authority) in v. 18,
The Commission (to evangelize the world) in v,v. 19-20a, and
The Provision (to be with us) in v. 20b.
And there we have it... Jesus’ parting words to His church - and our marching orders! Easter is wonderful! It is a great time of celebration. But Sunday has now given way to Monday. The parades, the parties, the festivities… all these things are now over. It’s now time to get up and go to work!
Let’s do this, church! For the day is already half over, and night is coming, when we can work no more!
CARTOON SOURCE: To take a trip down memory lane and to be reminded of the many wonderful animated television series of the 1960’s, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animated_television_series_of_the_1960s.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/28.htm