The tomb is empty. Jesus stands, living.....

Easter Sunday
Year C
Luke 24:1-12

When you wake "at early dawn" there's nothing there.  Grief returns in bits and pieces as  memories reestablish their foothold one by one.  The day stretches out like a blank canvas.  The two women, walking to the tomb of their friend, arrange the painful events of the last two days in such a way that they can conserve the strength they require to undertake their duties.

Like the Emmaus disciples in another of of Luke's stories, the women are good stewards of their inner resources.  They attempt to achieve a degree of what we might call "closure". They fall back on their practical duties, as women of their age and time, whose role it was to anoint the dead body as an act of respect.   The two men, in the later Emmaus story, attempt to draw a line under their life by going over the events of the previous years in detail - trying to isolate what the nature of their hope had been and to salvage some good out of a desperately sad and painful story. It's what human beings have always done.

Luke writes in a kindly fashion of these two clutches of humanity doing their very best in difficult circumstances without ever lending them control of the story.

The Gospels have never been an account of human ingenuity or the sufficiency of the human spirit.  They are an account of God doing what men and women cannot do.  The hold of sin and death is too strong even among the best of people.  Christ's tomb is found here empty. Christ is light in the darkness, he is the Word spoken into the silence, he is life in the midst of death.

The Gospel writers want you to listen to the events which they recount and which will be retold in the coming weeks under different guises because they make all the difference to how life is lived - not the lives of ancient men and women but your lives and the lives of those you love.  Unlock the cupboard where your have put away your hopes.  The tomb is empty.  Jesus stands, living, in the midst of those who loved him.

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