Best Day EVER

Matthew 28:1-10

In addition to being Pastor Mary, I have another very important title:  Mom.  6-year-old Eleanor and 4-year-old Reid have given it to me.  One of the many perks they bring into my life is getting to listen to them talk… and they say such awesome stuff.

Recently Eleanor and Reid have been into a particular declaration of status:  “This is the BEST DAY EVER!”  It’s usually delivered with a kind of crescendo effect, so that by the word “ever” they’ve reached a deafening level of excitement.

I’m not one to keep a good thing to myself, so I’ve been taking careful notes for the past few weeks in order to share this delight with you.  Here are some of events that prompted my small children to declare the BEST DAY EVER:

  • We got ice cream.
  • We went to the pool.
  • We got “flipsy cups.”
  • We had candy.
  • Eleanor got 2 new pair of shoes. (I don’t disagree with this one.)
  • We had carrots.
  • We went to “Camp Read a Lot.”
  • We got ice cream.  (You can see this is popular in the Brown house.)

Adults tend to giggle at a list like this; “carrots” and “flispy cups” don’t seem all that epic from our mature point of view.  Which is kind of sad, isn’t it?  If our standards were simpler, we’d have a lot more “best” days.  But our selectiveness does come with a benefit:  we pick some really meaningful things to make our “bests.”  This week I asked the Facebook world the reasons for their BEST DAY EVER, here’s what I heard…

  • Of 28 comments, 12 had to do with kids or grandkids…  births or a special day with one of them.
  • Another 7 had to do with marriage:  my wedding day, or my proposal, or my kids got married on my anniversary (a recent event in our church family!).
  • Among the others, there were some that revealed the particular group of people who are my “friends,” such as “the day I joined the Methodist church.”  A few more involved Wilderness Trail.
  • There were a couple I found amusing, like going to a first NFL game and (I’m curious about this one) “this past Saturday night.”
  • Then there were some that were serious but beautiful:  I spent a last special day with my horse before he died.  I answered the call to ministry and preached my first sermon.  My mom survived open heart surgery and I got more time with her.

There were 6 more that named something totally different… but I’ll get to those in a minute.  For now, I want this list to help you remember your BEST DAY EVER.  What would it be?

Go there for a minute in your mind.

I bet that was a really good day.  I bet you’re smiling just thinking about it.

But – are you ready for this?

It gets even better than that.

It started out more like the worst day ever.  It was a Sunday morning and two Marys were going to a graveyard to tend to Jesus’ body.  Their leader, teacher, best friend, and Messiah had been killed.  Wrongfully killed.  Horribly killed.  They walked toward his guarded tomb feeling duty and dread.

The Women At the Tomb James Tissot

James Tissot, Mary Magdalene and the Holy Women at the Tomb (1886-1894)

But then – as soon as their feet hit the cemetery grounds – an earthquake!  An angel!  The guards fainting like nervous school girls!  And the angel’s insanely wonderful message:

“He’s not here – he’s risen!”

The Marys run from the tomb – run to go tell the disciples.  Because when something really good happens, that’s what you want to do:  call your best friend! post it on Facebook! put an ad in the paper!

But before they get very far, it gets even better.  Jesus himself shows up in their path.  “Hi!” he says, and that’s all he has to say – the Marys fall down and worship him.  Because when something really, really good happens, that’s what you want to do:  shout a prayer! sing a hymn! praise God from whom all blessings flow!

That’s a pretty good day, right?

And we haven’t even gotten to the best part.

This amazing miracle – this death and resurrection – wasn’t just for Jesus.  And it wasn’t just so his best friends could see him again.  It’s for all of us.  It’s the conquering of our greatest fears.  Those mistakes that haunt you?  Through the cross, you’re guaranteed forgiveness.  And death, terrible death, that takes our loved ones and one day will take us, too?  It’s got NOTHING, on us – NOTHING! – because Jesus led the way out of the tomb.

Which means that today – this very day, this Easter Sunday – is THE BEST DAY EVER.

And that’s what those last six people wrote on my Facebook post.

“Today.”

They may or may not have been thinking of the Resurrection when they wrote that, but it’s the Resurrection that makes it true.  Because of Jesus Christ, today is the best day ever.  And because of Jesus Christ, every day is the best day ever – because the Resurrection doesn’t only apply on Easter Sunday, it is active and working every single day.

As I said, I’m not one to keep a good thing to myself.  So hear this good news:  Today is the BEST DAY EVER.  Don’t just hear it – say it.  Say it out loud.  Who cares who else is sitting around you?  Who cares what they world might think?  When it’s the best day, you have to call your best friend, post it on Facebook, and put an ad in the paper!  When it’s the best day EVER, you have to shout a prayer, sing a hymn, praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Shout it out with me:  BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!

Now go live it out.

Amen.

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