“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!”
“There is an empty tomb in Jerusalem, and it cannot be silenced.”
Discipleship Quad Guidebook p. 49
Alleluia! Christ is risen. It is a message that sounds different during this time of pandemic. Everything seems out of sorts and upside down. We are forced to ask ourselves, “What does Easter mean at a time such as this? How can we sing anything other than mournful songs? How can we sing Easter joy when there is so much suffering and death around us?”
These questions drive us deep into the heart of faith. They take us to the place in our hearts where despair lurks, where hope is challenged by experience, where doubt meets faith. These questions take us to the empty tomb.
The empty tomb is a silent witness to the resurrection. It points to the resurrection with confidence, but it doesn’t force belief. It invites, but does not coerce.
The unyielding presence of the empty tomb is a fact that inserts itself into our mind. It drives us to think about the possibilities. It invites us to encounter a life beyond death. The empty tomb witnesses to a new life beyond the grave. It reveals a love that exists beyond the death and suffering of this present world.
This nagging fact of the empty tomb invites our hearts to trust; to trust in love beyond death. This is faith, But the faith of the empty tomb isn’t a naive faith that denies the reality of illness and death. No, it is a faith that enters fully into the reality of death, but finds a more profound life beyond deaths limits. The empty tomb sings a song of joy, not because it hasn’t experienced death, but because it has seen death conquered!
Our Alleluia this Easter is born in the experience of suffering, just as the first Alleluia was born of the suffering of the cross. Our songs echo the song of the empty tomb, daring to sing in the midst of death. Our faith has grown and our life has changed through this encounter with the empty tomb. We are more mature. Our faith is deeper. We have begun to learn the lesson of the empty tomb.
Parish Pastoral Leader