Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Waiting for Easter

Holy Week.  Tuesday.  No special name for it, just Tuesday.  Later this week we have Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday (your choice....I prefer the latter but the other one works too), then Good Friday (not good for Jesus, he always dies...but good for those who need salvation), then Holy Saturday which is a day of rest and contemplation, maybe even sadness if you went to Good Friday service and heard the story of the crucifixion of Jesus read again, and then the biggest day on the Christian calendar, yes even bigger than Christmas and older than Christmas as its celebration was one of the reasons why Christians chose to worship on Sundays rather than Saturdays----EASTER!!!!

But, don't get in too big a hurry to bring out the ham and colored eggs because it is only plain, ordinary Tuesday today.  Tuesday gets no recognition in Holy Week.  The big three days--Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (even though Saturday is not a special one for celebration it is venerated as a day to watch and wait for the resurrection; some churches hold an Easter Vigil during the darkness of the night as they wait for the dawn's light to bring about the Easter celebration) are the main objects of Holy Week but Tuesday is just biding your time.

When I was a school teacher, the day before a holiday was one of the worst days to have to be in school.  No one wanted to be there--not the students, not the teachers, not even the principal.  You had to be there, though, because it was required by the state in order for the school to get credit and to receive state funding.  So, teachers were notorious about having "busy work" for the students to do or to show films most of the day or to allow a lot of breaks in the day for students to have a bit of fun before they left for the holiday.  I was one of those teachers who believed that you should keep the students busy or they would make you wish you had.  "Busy people are happy people," I would tell them if they complained about doing work that I assigned on that day.  "The other teachers aren't making us doing any work," some would chime in.  "I am not the other teachers," I would say.  So, they would begrudgingly work at doing what I had assigned until I finally released them into the wild to kick up their heels and frolic in holiday gladness.

That is what we want to do on Easter Day---kick up our heels and frolic!  That will feel good.  After our long, cold winter we want to experience the warmth of Easter Day in all its glory.  It is the sign that all is right with the world once more.  After the gloom and despair of the events of Holy Week in the life of Jesus, we want to feel happy and celebrate that our good friend Jesus beat out all those who put him to death.  He pulled the ultimate April Food joke on death by coming back to life.  So, we wear new clothes (to represent the new life that Christ gives us) and we dye eggs and buy lilies (also symbols of new life) and we prepare an Easter Feast to share with others.  That makes Easter Day all the more special.

But, as I said earlier, it is not Easter Day yet....it is only Tuesday, a day to reflect, contemplate, plan, and wait.  We can make the most of the time of our waiting, though.  Busy people are happy people...the wise teacher said.  Be busy, be happy, be about the business of spreading the news of God's grace in a world that needs to hear the good news.  Resurrection is a 365 day reality, even when we are waiting for it to reappear in our hearts through the Easter message we need to hear once more.

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