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Tag Backs, Do-Overs, and King's X

(a Steve Orr Easter reflection)


Were any of these part of your childhood?


·      "Ready or not, here I come!” 

·      "Ollie, Ollie in-come free!"

·      "Tag! You're it!"

·      "No tag backs!" 

·      "King's X!"

·      “No do-overs!”


As adults, we recall the power these phrases had when we were kids. But also recognize that few adult situations actually bend to their authority. There was a time, though, when calling out "no tag backs" could ward off pulling double duty as "it," and yelling "King's X!" could bring any game or activity to a complete halt.


We yelled "King's X!" when something unanticipated arose, a game-changer, if you will. This could be something as simple as a bee flying onto the field. Or it could be a far more complex situation, such as when some of us realized others were playing by different rules. “King’s X” was a truce term similar to “time out.” We stopped whatever we were doing until everyone could agree that it was OK to continue with the game; until the "norm" was either restored or reset.


"King's X" returns to top of mind when reading this week’s scriptures from Mark and John with their focus on resurrection. I’m reminded of a revelation in 1 Corinthians Chapter 2: "But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord."


No doubt those "rulers" wished they could have yelled out "King's X!" Imagine their shock when what their evil machinations had actually produced with the crucifixion of Jesus began to sink in. Not only did they not see it coming, they facilitated it! Their "Game of Graves" had been turned upside down by the resurrection. What they intended for evil, God intended for eternal good. 


But, no. No King's X.


And—just in case it wasn’t clear to them when Jesus rose from the grave, let’s declare it now—"No do-overs!"



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