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Empty Tomb - Empty Churches

Our passage from the Narrative Lectionary for this Sunday is from Mark 16:1-8.  It focuses on the empty tomb and I can't quite get out of my head that this will be the first time in my life that I will see an empty church on Easter. 

Easter is the one time that people who have not come to church all year will return for their spiritual renewal.  It is the most attended service of every year.  This year similar numbers may tune in for online services, but, like the tomb, the church building will be empty. 

Can you imagine arriving at the funeral home to discuss funeral preparation for a loved one and finding the casket empty? What assumptions would you make?  Is your loved one stolen? Misplaced? Destroyed? Risen?  Here is one that you wouldn't make, you would not assume that the empty casket was your loved one.  You would not mourn the sight as a sign of the decaying state of your loved one.  You would know that your loved one was somewhere else.  The three women did not assume that the empty tomb was Jesus, and, we will not assume that the empty church building is the church. We will not mourn the decaying state of the church, we will simply know that the church is somewhere else.

I think this is a powerful reminder that the church building is a building, not the church.  That the service is an event.  The church is a people, not a building, service, or event.  The church, like Christ, is present and growing during this time.  People are turning to God with questions, with prayers, and looking for hope.  The people of God, the priesthood of believers, are being called to minister to those around them, to be the church.  Leaders in centralized locations can only do so much when the people are scattered, but the body as a whole can move in ways that it never has.  What are you being called to do?

This Easter, as we contemplate the resurrection of Christ, I would like you to consider the resurrection of the church.  When this is over it may not look exactly the same, but if we step into the role of the priesthood of believers, what wonders will God do through the body?  Could the world see the church as great healers, community builders, and hope givers?

God as we strive for success, turn our eyes down from the top of the mountain that we may see to wash the feet of the world.  - Amen


  1. Powerful words for this season. Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much, for your comment! I appreciate you taking the time to read these words. Have a blessed day!


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