Well, I think it’s fair to say, on this day of all days, that death ain’t what it used to be.
Not to make light of it, I imagine that we have all been grieved, harassed and terrified by death in more than one way, on more than one occasion.
But, perhaps, on this day, of all days, we can make light of it, make light of death, its immanence, its unavoidability, its thrall, its twisting and hostage making.
Perhaps this day, of all days, is a day of levity, a day of lightness, a loss of gravity, an emptying of our graveness, a day to make light of death and its heavy ways.
Why? Because death ain’t what it used to be.
It seems like lately the sunrise has been especially glorious, and the morning star, just before the sunrise, has been especially bright and piercing.
A new day. A new beginning.
Some days really are new beginnings, starting over after everything has fallen apart, after a long dark night.
Some sunrises are the first light of a new creation getting started, the first day.
This day of all days is the first day.
Because death ain’t what it used to be.
As the first day of the week was dawning Mary, and Mary, on that first day, came to see the tomb, that opened before their eyes, that was empty, and heard the message from the bright piercing Angel, that Jesus was risen, to carry the news, to go find him, and then Jesus was there.
A new day. The first day. What comes next?
When death ain’t what it used to be, what comes next?
Fulfillment. Matthew’s Gospel is always talking about scripture being fulfilled. He does it over and over again. It fascinates me. I don’t think it’s about using the Bible to predict the future. I think it’s about God’s will being done on earth, about it being inevitable and unavoidable, that the future belongs to God. God’s will is being fulfilled.
Except in this last chapter. The chapter of the resurrection. The chapter of the first day. No mention of fulfillment or scripture, only commands, to go on ahead and meet Jesus, to tell the news and to baptize.
No more fulfillment of scripture. It’s like everything is now fulfilled, this first day is everything, everything finds its new beginning in the first day, the future is wide open to the will of God. The long captivity is ended. Because death ain’t what it used to be.
On this day, of all days, this first day of creation beginning again, we find that life ain’t what it used to be. It is now much more.
What comes next? That’s the thing about starting over, we only find out as we go.