The Here is the Now ~~ The Empty Tomb is the Place

Week of April 1, 2018

If the stones of the tomb could talk, what would they say?  If the rock that had to be rolled away to open the tomb could speak, what story would it tell?  Would it want us to know that it all happened at 2 AM or 3 AM in the morning?  Would they tell us of the wonderful peace that filled the air of the tomb before an explosion of light?  If the stones could speak, would they tell us of glorious angels?  Early that morning the accounts of the women and the disciples tell us plainly that the tomb is empty.  The story of the resurrection had left the place of confinement and is spreading into the world.  Belief is to happen and deepen.  Wonder and awe are to be proclaimed so loud that the lies of the accounts of the Roman soldiers will never be remembered.

The stones of the tomb cannot speak, but we can.  The rock rolled in front of the entrance of the tomb cannot cry out its joy, but we can.  We become the radiant light of a new day.  We become the bearers of the mystery of life beyond death.  We become the people who profess a faith that tradition has held and now we experience.  We are called to be the voice of Resurrection.  We are called to be the story of faith; we are called to be the proclaimers of a mystery of new life.

The here is the now and this is our moment in time.  The now is the here and that which is timeless has offered us an opportunity to speak.  The mystery we proclaim changes the world forever.  The mystery we announce changes us forever.  How do we tell the story, how do we make it real?  This Easter the Lord is waiting for us to do what the stones of the tomb could never do, speak.  Speak the Alleluia that is to fill our minds, our souls and our bodies with hope.  Sing the Alleluia with a passion of meaning.  What was thought to be lost is now found.  Fullness resides in the emptiness of the tomb.  Why do we look for the Risen Lord among the dead?  He is not there; He is alive.  Our proclamation begins in love.  Our story deepens with love.  Our story finds meaning with love.  God so loved the world that He would not allow it to die.  God so loved the world that He longed for us to be redeemed and saved from our sinfulness.  This event makes this our story; this empty tomb makes redemption possible, it makes it real.

From the emptiness of a tomb we are to find our voice.  What does resurrection mean? It means death has no power.  It means death is an entrance to new life.  All of our pain, all of our little deaths have purpose until the final breath of our lives is given to God.  Can we live in this kind of depth, in this kind of meaning?  What the stones saw, we experience.  A light from within bursting forth now must become our light, our voice, our belief.  We have the chance, so what are we going to say?  How will we use this moment in time to speak of timeless things?

From the tomb rose our Savior.  From the tombs of our lives, we must live our belief.  As we gather around tables with families and friends, what will we say?  Will we tell the story of new life, of the deaths to our very selves that now bring joy to others?

It is Easter.  The tomb is the place.  Jesus is Risen!

Reverend John J. Ouper