The Empty Tomb
April 17, 2016, 11:51 AM

Empty Tomb

For Jesus to stand to his full height, he had to leave the small, dark place of the tomb. For us to rise up to our full stature, we must leave the small, dark places of life. We must leave the many and various tombs of this earthly life, and find our way to the broad, open and light-filled places.

-Br. Mark Brown
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

For those of us who mourn, this meditative passage may seem hard to hear. One of the things I have wrestled with over the years as family members and friends have died is my desire to remember and honor them – and walking away from the tomb, as Br. Mark puts it, could seem to dishonor their memory.

But that’s not what his statement is actually saying.  Rather, he is talking about leaving behind that which holds us back – negative emotions such as anger, which keep us from acknowledging that we have the choice of how to respond to hurts and injuries, or negative perceptions of other people, which might encourage  us to blame others for the problems we experience in life.  That sort of thing.

It’s not about forgetting those we love and miss at all; rather, it’s about our tendency to forget who we are in Christ.

We are the beloved children of a loving Creator, not the spawn of Satan.  Saul, the persecutor of early Christians, was moved to let go of his sense of mission and righteous zealotry that fed his impulse to punish those who did not conform to the religious authorities in Judea and beyond.  Peter, the man who three times denied any relationship with the man Jesus, was moved to stand on street corners, in defiance of those same religious authority figures, and speak of God’s love for all humanity as shown by Jesus in his life and death.

What moved them was not a message of condemnation, but one of forgiveness and opportunity.

It was the LOVE of God that opened the doors of their tombs of fear and anger and led them to share the love of God with everyone they met. That love is offered to all of us even now.