I've been reflecting on the resurrection and the empty tomb in this Easter season. As Christians, it's one of our sacred stories and is actually part of the bedrock of our faith. As a miracle though, it might tempt us to draw a line between faith and science.
I've been prodding my inner self and asking how the empty tomb really makes a tangible difference in my life. It's something I believe in which happened a long time ago. I wasn't there in person. I wasn't one of the disciples that it directly affected. I wasn't traumatized by Jesus' execution. What difference does the empty tomb make in my world? Why is it part of my personal beliefs?
Evergreen Presby is reading Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor during this Easter season. As a world religions professor, Taylor introduces us to faiths other than Christianity. She gives us permission to learn from them in humility, as understanding other faiths can help us dig deeper into our own. In the chapter on Buddhism, she makes a comment about the everyday practicality of Buddhism and compares it with the beliefs of Christianity.
Believing in something doesn't exclude it's practicality (which Taylor mentions), but I would take it further than that. Beliefs work their way into our worldview and interpretative lenses. They may start off as intangible beliefs, but grace and miraculous works of the Holy Spirit manifest in different ways in peoples' lives. God's grace and sacrificial love create gratitude, release us from guilt and shame, and turn our hearts towards our Savior. Those are things that are real to me; experiences with which I can identify.
So, as we tell the Easter story once more, may the empty tomb ground us in our faith and point us towards the ways in which God's love manifests in our lives. May the Spirit prompt us towards gratitude. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Bales
Communications Director &
Pastor of Evergreen Presbyterian Church