3-4 APRIL 2021: EASTER VIGIL & SUNDAY
Reference to an empty tomb is presented a lot in the resurrection Gospels. Seven times in the Gospel used for Easter Sunday. Experiencing and interpreting this emptiness is very important for the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.
With the busyness of our minds, especially all the distractions, it is difficult to choose to experience any true emptiness or silence in our daily lives. Emptiness seems to be a dead place that we want to avoid in our emotional lives, it arrives against our will. Maybe we associate it with grief or the loss of a relationship. Emptiness also seems to be a deep place, and it much easier for us to be superficial.
Yet, as the Anglican priest Esau McCaulley noted recently in The New York Times, “Christians are the fools who dare believe in God’s power to bring dead things to life.”
And so we accept, or even seek, the emptiness and silence we encounter, in this foolish faith that there is life there.
The pandemic has been a gigantic empty tomb for almost a year and half. Nearly three million dead around the world now; so for them, a very real tomb. For the one hundred and thirty million people who have contracted the disease, and for everyone else who has lived with restrictions, it’s been a different kind of empty tomb.
The Good News of Easter is that in the depths and in death — in the empty tombs — there is life, there is grace. This is a truth to give us comfort and inspiration and — even a sense of adventure — in our Christian practice. This is a truth that must also be our lived contribution to the world.