When Empty Is All We've Got

I jokingly remarked this year that we should give the kids empty Easter eggs to drive home the point that the tomb was empty. (I know, I know, a handy parenting tip to be sure. Try it next year and let me know how it goes!)

Interesting to me, though, that one of the most powerful visuals of Easter Sunday is that of emptiness. What *isn’t* in the tomb is as important as what is. Through its emptiness, the Master’s grave is radically transformed into a womb overflowing with life.

We usually don’t like empty, do we? It makes us feel anxious and uncertain, fearful or ashamed. Sometimes we use it to describe our unending busyness and inability to get proper rest: running on empty. Other times it is something far deeper, a gnawing awareness within our inner core that we have absolutely nothing left to offer. In times like those, empty is all we’ve got.

As tempting as it is to run away from the empty seasons of the heart, the Easter tomb holds out a powerful promise: in our emptiness, there is more room for God. The Master put it this way:

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less.
That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners
of everything that can't be bought."

Matthew 5.3-5, The Message

In the upside-down logic of the Kingdom, emptiness is not just okay, it’s more than enough in the hands of God. Instead of being cause for shame, anxiety or fear, emptiness can signal the way to expectancy...expectant for God-On-The-Move, expectant for God-Is-Sufficient, yes, even expectant for God-Of-Resurrection-Power. The tomb is empty, and the life-giving winds of Easter rush to fill the space.

Broken and empty Easter eggs. Maybe not such a bad idea after all.

Grateful for that which I could never earn, deserve, or buy,