Thursday, April 13, 2017

The emptiness of Easter

   Thousands of eggs will be found on Sunday morning by little hands. They will fill up baskets and bags with eggs containing enough treats and candy to make any dentist weep. The eggs were filled by the generous efforts of dozens of volunteers who took the time to make sure that kids would have something to delight in - what a blessing it is to think about the people who make things happen in service to the love of God!
   I don't blame a child for wanting every egg to contain something special inside. But, Easter is more about emptiness than anything else. Frederick Buechner said this,

"The symbol of Easter is the empty tomb. You can't depict or domesticate emptiness. 
You can't make it into pageants and string it with lights."

Think about the abundance of Christmas images and items that point back to that first Nativity: a baby in swaddling clothes, a kneeling mother, mangers, stables, angelic choruses, admiring shepherds, and even adoring animals. Now, think about how most of the images of Easter are about things that have nothing to do with the actual first Easter morning: eggs, bunnies, chicks, etc. Isn't it because it is very hard to sell emptiness?
   Our story begins with the empty tomb. The best news the world has ever heard is not something that can be monetized. The hinge of history turns on something that wasn't there (a body). The foundation of our hope is emptiness! No wonder the first disciples stumbled out of the garden that morning. No wonder they ended up temporarily returning to their previous jobs before the week was out. We want every present to contain something we can cling to, something we can show others. Instead, the emptiness of Easter is too grand and magnificent to be kept inside an egg, a tomb, or even a painting over the mantle.
   God is inviting me - and you - to look into the empty tomb and find power over death, love that conquers fear, and something greater than anything we've put our hands on. Grace and peace, Scott

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