Mary knew this day would come, but she was still unprepared for it. How could anyone prepare for this? It was insanity. The vacillating crowd followed him with cheers of acclamation one day, and the next, they cursed him with the violent shouts of the damned.
She stood at the edge of the crowd, staring in disbelief at the three bodies. It was senseless! Why did it happen? Indeed, the two on the outside deserved this. After all, they were thieves; but Jesus did nothing to warrant this punishment.
In the darkness, Mary laid her weary bones on her mat as her mind traveled back over the past six months without him. So much has changed. His followers are in hiding most of the time. They come out boldly, preaching his message during the day, but they hide among the new converts at night.
Jesus made many enemies while he was here. He had attracted more after His death. The stories and the lies concocted to explain the sightings by the multitudes afterward were just the beginning.
A slight smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as she remembered her little boy running across the square to tell her of his latest revelation. He was so young and yet had so much wisdom. God revealed many secrets to this child He had entrusted into her care. Ruffling his curls, Mary studied the dark eyes that danced with such merriment. His smile never changed. She could see that same smile the last time they were together. He still looked like the little boy who was so eager to share God’s truth with her.
Memories pulled her mind in different directions as she lay on her mat. She still felt indescribable grief. Losing Jesus was the hardest thing she had experienced since her beloved Joseph had passed away years earlier. Another part of her rejoiced, knowing that they could never hurt Him again. He won His battle through His death, both for Himself and for all who followed Him.
Accepting that He was no longer her son was the hardest part of all of this. He was now her Savior. He was no longer that little boy with curls. Nor was he that young man who came to her so often for counsel. He had fulfilled His Father’s plan for His life, and now He is sitting at His right hand.
Mary tossed and turned in the darkness, thinking about her long battle. She reflected on the day that an angel told her she would bear God’s child. God entrusted His plans to her care. She was so overwhelmed that He would choose her for such responsibility and honor. She had loved Jesus, protected him, taught him, and guided him for most of her life. She had to remind herself often that He wasn’t really hers. He belongs to humanity. He came with a purpose, and death was part of the plan.
Now she knew the price God paid when He placed Jesus in her womb. It must have broken His heart to let Him go. Their relationship changed, too. He no longer belonged to His Father alone. He now belonged to the world.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz has served as a copastor of the Sebastopol Community Church since February 2018. She and her late husband, Michael, have served as pastors in seven churches since 1988, most of them in the Pentecostal Church of God, Joplin, MO.
The Schuetz family has ministered to couples through counseling, ministry, women, and marriage retreats. She served as the District Youth President over the state of New Mexico, where she traveled two weeks each month preaching youth rallies. She organized youth camps, retreats, etc., during her tenure.
Dr. Schuetz graduated from Cornerstone University, Lake Charles, LA. After completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling in 1998, Cornerstone hired Dr. Schuetz as the university's Administrative Director. In 1998, the Schuetzs moved to Lake Charles, where they lived on campus, taught classes, traveled to satellite campuses to hold graduation ceremonies, etc.
They were married for 45 ½ years, with three children and ten grandchildren. Dr. Schuetz stepped into the pulpit as Senior Pastor when Michael went home to the Lord in December 2021. In over 35 years in ministry, they hoped to reveal God's love to all. Dr. Schuetz loves to break God's Word into understandable principles and teach people how to apply those principles to their own lives.