Weekends are what many people live for. (Apologies to Miss Baylson, my 11th grade English teacher for ending a sentence with a preposition.) But it is an appropriate ending in that “for” implies a forward movement; a time to which people look and plan and hang on to get through the days before the weekend.
One high school teacher realized that Wednesday is really the
only day in the week when students give their full attention
Monday and Tuesday they are busy talking about the
past weekend and all they did; and Thursday and Friday are occupied with plans for the upcoming weekend and all they are planning to do.
Many live through the week to get to the weekend;
except for that one week in history when Jesus was raised on a cross to die by crucifixion, on Friday.
For some people that week has become such a horrible day that they
can’t get beyond it.
For some it has become a recurring week that is updated with one crisis after another.
John M. Buchanan began his April 1st bi-weekly “Editor’s Desk” in the Christian Century magazine by telling about a friend who has lost hope for the human race.
Daily news so depresses him that he is certain the human race has run its course. We might make it for a few more centuries, but the end of civilization is in sight.
John Buchanan added to his friend’s depression by noting a summer article in Science magazine reporting we are approaching the tipping point in global warming;
some marine life will perish, water levels will rise, and there will be more violent storms.
In addition to that, there is the cultural genocide by ISIS militants
seen in a video destroying priceless historical artifacts in the
Mosul Museum in northern Iraq.
In one of our Confirmation Class’ Sunday morning sentence prayers there was the dread of what ISIS might do to us in our country,
and very public horror that is accompanied by personalized fears.
A new pastor was making the rounds of the congregation and came to a very well-educated retired teacher who said the last time she attended a service of worship was in her twenties when she came to the funeral for a dear aunt.
She’s been absent ever since, unable to attend because every church service would bring back painful memories, too painful to even step inside the building!
She was stuck in a life of weeks that ended for her on her own personal Good Friday that kept her from getting to a personal Easter
she lived the rest of her life missing the weekend of all weekends.
God’s weekend that begins on Good Friday when the forces still with us today,
cast a foreboding spell over some like John Buchanan’s
friend who has no hope for humanity; like the people whose personal grief or disappointment in a God of love casts a pall over all worship, turning some into atheists,
never to dare to venture into the Easter scene and
hear God having the last laugh.
God laughing in the face of human corruption, of humans’ inhumanity to humans; of plotting to kill God in Christ by crucifixion,
only to hear the Easter voice of Jesus greeting His closest
friends at the culmination of that weekend.
The weekend of ALL weekends confirmed with their saying:
We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;
but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear,
not to all the people but to us
who were chosen by God as witnesses,
and who ate and drank with him
after he rose from the dead.
and initiated by Mary Magdalene, being the first to say,
“I have seen the Lord.”
The very people who had known Jesus before His death, the very people who would have been the hardest to convince,
heard God having the last laugh, and the first.
From that weekend on, those who “were chosen by God as witnesses”
saw how determined God was to restore to its original newness all that God had made.
They picked up the sound of God’s last/first laugh in the Easter Jesus eating, speaking, walking with them,
and as time passed, in human words and gestures that
bore the likeness all they had witnessed Jesus doing and
glimpses the Easter Jesus in hiding, waiting to be in very human settings.
A Presbyterian minister, Scott Black Johnson, tells of a phone call from his seminary classmate he receives every Easter. It is always the same message, “Jesus is on the loose!” followed by a hang up, so all that is heard is:
“Jesus is on the loose!”
The Easter Jesus is “on the loose,” working through common, ordinary people and in most unexpected places,
and always at the Easter table of Holy Communion that is
permeated with God’s last/first laugh broadcast in the proclamation:
“Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!”
And in answer, we shout:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives! (Bill Gaither) Amen!
 Adapted from “Editor’s Desk by John M. Buchanan, Christian Century, April 1, 2015, P. 3