300 Days for 300 Years: A Commemorative Devotional of the Presbytery of Philadelphia
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Rev. Kevin Porter, Stated Clerk, Presbytery of Philadelphia

  • Easter Day Readings, First Reading: Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6
  • Psalm Reading: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
  • Second Readings Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43
  • Gospel Readings: John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10
  • Easter Evening Readings, First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9, Psalm 114:1-8
  • Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-49

Empty Tomb, Empty Page!

The Resurrection of the Lord

“Empty tomb, empty page!” My quip was intended as a humorous cover for the weight I felt when a colleague wondered how I would respond to the honor of saying a word about this day which defines our identity as Christians. Upon reflection, I find those words profound.

No doubt, the women who dutifully went to the grave of their beloved Jesus experienced a profound sense of emptiness. But, praise God, they did not let their angst stop them. Only by daring to confront the void did they find themselves in the midst of the resurrection promise.

Collectively, when so many of us in this nation experienced the events of September 11 as the bursting of an illusory bubble of security; or individually, when the words from the doctor are the very words we most feared; or when we have run out of whatever distracts us from the empty and ugly places within and must confront our particular dark night of the soul, we can only pray:

May the crater in the ground, lump in the throat, and pit in the stomach call us to another empty space – the empty tomb.

There may we be claimed and claim our place as Easter people. Amen.