Empty Tombs

empty tomb

By Pastor Paula Burchill

Glennon Doyle Melton had a great blog post on Easter Sunday about how our tombs are empty.  Whatever sin we keep obsessing over, whatever addiction, pain, loss—it is gone.  Christ is risen and we are free.  The tomb is empty.

I thought that was such a powerful reminder, so why is it so hard for me to remember?

I think what makes it particularly hard for me is that the tomb I keep visiting never seems to change.  I seem to have the same issues keep rearing their ugly heads over and over and over. I can say they have no power, but apparently they do, because it seems like I’m confessing the same sins to God every time I confess.

Someone told me once that spouses generally have the same fight over and over throughout their marriage.  I have certainly found that to be true as well.

I believe that I am forgiven.  In fact, I know it to the depths of my bones.  My tomb is empty!  But I can’t seem to remember it because I keep acting like it isn’t true.

Can anyone relate??!

I guess it should not be that surprising.  We humans are about as thick-headed as can be.  One of my favorite quotes of Paul is when he said, everything I want to do I don’t, and everything I don’t want to do seems to be the exact thing I do.

We are stuck.  We cling to those tombs like they matter to us more than anything.

During the season of Easter, we start our services with the pastor saying, “Christ is risen,” and the congregation shouting back, “He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!”  I think we do that at least partly because we have to keep reminding ourselves about our empty tombs.  We have to say is as much as we can.

Anne Lamott described the process of putting the past behind us as a few scooches forward and a slide back–over and over and over again—scooch, scooch, slide.

And I suppose that is the only way to get it through my thick skull that it is true.  I need to say it again and again.  I need to give myself a break for not believing it. And I need to fake it until I make it, even if I never do.

The tomb is empty.  Your tomb is empty.  Write it on your fridge or your bathroom mirror.  Moses told the Israelites to write God’s laws on the doorposts of their houses so they would see them when they came in and when they left.  Again and again, day after day.

I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.

This season of Easter will you keep reminding yourself with me?  Our tombs are empty!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!


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