Easter is Empty

Easter is a treasure buried deep in the ground.  It is a priceless gift that has been covered over with distraction.  It is humanity’s source of sustenance hidden in some darkened corner in the back room of the candy shop.  Of course, as a minister, I want to reclaim Easter from the clutches of commercialism.  Of course, I want to do away with the proliferation of the Easter bunny.  Of course, I want everyone to fall on their knees before the glory of the empty tomb and plead the mercy of God for their eternal salvation.  Easter is the culmination of our good news.  Without it our faith is in vain and we who believe are just a bunch of poor, dumb souls who ought to be pitied. (1 Cor. 15:17-19).

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Stone Faith

 

“The whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!” -1 Samuel 17:46

 

Thirteen days ago 30 of us got off the plane in Tel Aviv, Israel, after an overnight flight through Toronto. We were exhausted, but excited. The key to overcoming jet lag is to stay awake the first day until bed time in the new time zone. So, rather than going to our hotel for the afternoon, where most of us would be tempted to take a nap, our bus took us on a drive to the east.

We had begun our Christian History Study Tour of the Holy Land! Most of us had never been out of the country before, and all but a few had never been to Israel. It was for all of us a spiritual pilgrimage. We wanted to walk where Jesus walked. We wanted to see where God did so many of the things we have always heard about in the Bible. They weren’t just stories. They were historical events, with real people, in real places, in real time.

Our first stop was a curious one. We pulled along side the road, and our guide told us to get off the bus. We needed to move to stay awake! We walked along the shoulder of the highway, and then hopped over the metal guardrail. We walked through a field of something we didn’t recognize (our guide told us they fed it to livestalk) and over to a dry river bed of smooth stones. We were in the middle of nowhere!


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