Perspective: The Empty Tomb Challenge

Apr 8, 2021

Easter and Passover have concluded and Ramadan begins soon.  These three religious groups take time to remember and retell their central religious stories and celebrate them. 

Christians dare to assert that the dead can be brought back to life.  But the biblical stories of Easter were laced with fear and disbelief.  The Gospel of Mark ends abruptly after three women went to grieve at Jesus’ tomb, and when finding it empty fled in fright and despair, not telling anyone what they had experienced. 

Esau McCaulley writes in a recent New York Times article, “The terrifying prospect of Easter is that God called these women to return to the same world that crucified Jesus with a very dangerous gift: Hope in the power of God, the unending reservoir of forgiveness and an abundance of love.”

What empty tomb challenges do we return to as the fearful pandemic fades? Will we try to return to the same world:  the ongoing equality struggles of minority groups, racial hate crimes and mass gun violence, the despair of families and children fleeing their homes and turned back at the border? 

Or will we dare to leave the empty tomb of despair with renewed hope?  A hope that energizes us to create communities committed to justice, forgiveness, reconciliation, and dignity for all?

I pray that we can embody a sense of hope that is grounded in faith and collective action for the common good of all and a future worth celebrating.

I’m Connie Seraphine, and that is my Empty Tomb Perspective.