Our mother (mine and my sister’s) died on a Saturday morning. Her life changed: not ended.
Thomas, the one called the twin, was no doubter. (John 20:24ff) He believed; so profoundly that he was totally devastated. He was living the psalmist’s words, “Weeping spends the night…. (Ps 30:5)” Entombed by his grief, only the most unimaginable extreme, touching the wounds of hand and side, held the faintest chance of reaching his brokenness. Peter, too, grieving both the loss and his own denial, is in that place where he doesn’t don’t know what to do, so he does what he knows. (John 21:3ff) “I’m going fishing.” It’s what he could do. He didn’t do it well, but …. He is us: “I’m going to work.” “…going for a long walk.”
Jesus meets them both. Gently he comes. No anger. No disappointment. (Make no mistake, this is no sanguine love – this love is stronger than death; fiercer than the grave.) Thomas, peace. Thomas, touch. Peter, eat. I’ve got you. I’ll restore you. I’ll raise you to new life.
From the dead this Jesus rose, savior and redeemer, that at the end of our earthly days, life is changed, not ended. Too, he comes to us when we are dead in our grief, our sadness, our loss, and offers us a patient and prolonged presence, that in time we may have new life in this life – a resurrection. The psalmist’s verse is made complete – “Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Our mother died on a Saturday morning, when we exited the place of her last days, the rain was over and gone, and voice of birds, perhaps turtledoves, was heard around us. Dogwoods in bloom; azaleas just come forth. It was Saturday … in Easter Week … a good day for life to change, not end.