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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Focus: Only an Empty Tomb

Alleluia! He is risen! But wait a minute. Where is the angel to announce the Resurrection? Where is the dazzling white light to punctuate the miracle? Where are the trumpets? Matthew, Mark and Luke, all give us angels and lights. John gives us only an empty tomb. Could it be that we have journeyed through Lent and witnessed the Passion only to find that the punch line is emptiness? Look again. This is a void that speaks volumes, an emptiness that promises an eternity of fulfillment, a silence that trumpets: He is truly risen.

Christ’s empty tomb tells us that our tombs, our graves, our urns will also be empty one day. If we follow Jesus, he will surely lead us to eternal life. But on that first Easter morning, his loved ones can’t see that. As many times as he had told them what to expect, they are frightened and confused by the empty tomb. And as many times as he has told us down the ages, we too stand frightened and confused by our fragile faith pitted against the certainty of death. Our senses, our reason, our experience, all tell us that what is dead is dead. And Jesus was as dead as dead can be. So, where’s the body?

Mary Magdalene didn’t have long to wait for an answer. Later, after the others had left, she even got angels. But best of all, she got Jesus. He called her by name. And there he was. Not the broken corpse of the cross, but the risen Messiah, her friend, her teacher, her Savior. Then she ran to the disciples to announce: I have seen the Lord. And as we’ll see in the succeeding gospels of Easter season, the disciples will not only see the Lord; they will talk with him and even touch him.

The great good news of the Resurrection is that this is not a one-shot miracle reserved for the Deity. This is a miracle we can all share. That’s the whole purpose of Christ’s life, passion, death and Resurrection. Our tombs are meant to be emptied. Our hearts are meant to be filled. Jesus promised: I am the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever believes in me shall never die. (John 11:25-26) Jesus says never die…not maybe… no if’s, and’s or but’s. He isn’t playing word games. He’s offering us all an empty tomb and eternal life. All it takes is a leap of faith to exchange a life of emptiness for the fullness of the risen Christ. He wants us to trade our fear for faith, our sins for forgiveness, our death for everlasting life.

And so, as you go through this glorious Easter and beyond, remember that life here is short. We don’t have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. Be quick to love. Make haste to be kind. And always…Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Then rejoice today for that empty tomb and for a blessed Easter filled with the love of our Risen Savior.


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