“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn,
they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
but when they went in, they did not find the body.
While they were perplexed about this,
suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.
The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground,
but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.”
As a youth, one of my favorite movies was the Never-Ending Story – perhaps you have seen it. It is the story of a book – the reader of that book is transported into the pages of the story and becomes a protagonist in the story’s evolving direction, shaping the journey with their actions. As such, it is handed down from generation to generation – into the hands of those young people who would dare enter its plot and work to bring about hope in the midst of all that threatens the world – be it injustice, indifference, despair, darkness and evil.
As I reflect on this past Sunday and the celebrations of Easter hope, I find myself thinking about the privilege that the resurrection has offered each and every one of us. We are, in essence, invited to enter the pages of the Bible – to be blinded by a light of hope while experiencing the emptiness of a hope-filled tomb. In many ways, the Biblical narrative reflects the epitome of the “never ending story.” For as we allow ourselves to enter the journey of its pages, we the readers also become protagonists. We become the contemporary characters – those men and women of today who are invited to choose when, where, and how we respond to the injustice, indifference, despair, darkness and evil we witness or experience. And the truth is, darkness and evil continue to threaten humanity with violence, terror and isms of every imaginable and, at times, unimaginable kind. The light we are invited to bear is critical if we are to hope to be used as vessels of the resurrection hope.
The significance of the resurrection is not centered on its one moment in human history. It is, instead, centered on the truth that the resurrection continues to have power in our lives today – and tomorrow. The significance of the resurrection is centered on the truth that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I are called and able to reflect that Easter hope in the trivial and not-so-trivial moments of our lives. We are called to enter the trek of faith in the Bible and bear that light of new life into every dimension of our lives and into the world today. We get the privilege of both telling and shaping the story.
So as we continue to allow the songs of Hallelujahs and images of Easter morning to touch our hearts, may we boldly step into the pages of Scripture and bear the Gospel Word of Easter hope into the world. May we walk away from the emptiness of the tomb and rise from where we find ourselves. May we be protagonists, bearers and ambassadors of the ultimate “never ending story.”