Knowing the End of the Story

Knowing the End of the Story

Welcome, friends, to Holy Humor Sunday. This day is part of a tradition (a very old tradition) of laughing on the Sunday after Easter as we celebrate the cosmic joke that God plays on sin and death when Jesus Christ is raised from the dead.


It is a day to laugh, to lift up our hearts, to thank God that we know already the end of the story.

And its important that we hold on to that promise, because while we look out at the world and think about our personal lives, we discover all sorts of things that might cause us to yell or scream or break down in tears.

Another unarmed black man was killed this week in our nation.

A tornado levels a community in Illinois.

Friends diagnosed with terminal illness.

Job losses.

So many people in our community are homeless today, are broken, are struggling right now.


I know in my bones that God has already won.

I know that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead.

I understand.  I believe.

But I find it so hard to keep that Easter joy in my heart because we haven’t reached the end of the story yet!  We are inbetween times… in between the empty tomb and the new creation.  It’s here, but not fully.  It’s already, but not yet.

How on earth can we laugh at a time like this?  How can we laugh as towns are ravaged by deadly winds and little ones go to bed hungry tonight?  How can we laugh when people are staring death in the face and losing?  How can we laugh when the disparity between the haves and the have nots is so stark?

Maybe the question is… how can we not laugh?

How can we not just take a deep breath and remember that God is in control… not us.

St. John Chrysostom preached in his famous Easter sermon:

If anyone is devout and loves God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If anyone is a wise servant, let him rejoice and enter into the joy of his Lord.

He gives rest to him who comes at the 11th hour, even as to him who has worked from the first hour. And He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first. Let all then enter into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, keep the feast. You sober and you heedless, celebrate the day.

Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast… Let all receive the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.

O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.

Christ is risen, and life reigns.

Christ is risen, and the tomb is emptied of the dead.

To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.


This world is broken and imperfect and horrible things happen all around us.  But if we cannot laugh in the midst of our sorrows, then the Devil has already won.

If we cannot laugh and lift up one another’s spirits, then there is no hope.

If we cannot laugh and rejoice, then why keep going at all?

Christ is risen. Death is overthrown. Life reigns.

We don’t have to be afraid.  We don’t have to be scared.  We know the end of the story and we can laugh in the face of all that tries to hurt us.

Those words are so powerful…  and so hard to believe in.

But maybe… just maybe… if we get together as a community and we laugh, if we practice together what we preach, then we will find the faith we need to trust.

Christ is risen. Death is overthrown. Life reigns.

And because of that our hearts are filled with joy. Amen.

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