“The Power of Empty”

When something is empty we usually associate it with something that has run out or is depleted of whatever substance that made it full before.  Our cars can now communicate with us when our gas tank is almost empty to give us enough time before we totally run out of gas.  We often hear a person say to another, “I am running on empty.”  They are telling us they are tired, overworked, and do not have the regular get up and go as normal.  The meaning of empty is normally associated with something that is depleted or gone.  The word can also mean hallow, vacant, or bare.  Empty typically has a negative connotation.

Most words can have an opposite meaning, too.  I have heard it said that a clinched fist is closed and is no longer able to receive anything new.  An empty hand is ready to receive something new or is able to be open to something new.  If our life is full, the only way to receive or add something new is to empty a portion of our life’s activities to allow a new thing to enter.

I also was thinking about Easter.  Easter is a day of hope and promise.  Easter is a day that reminds us that death no longer has the last say.  Jesus invites us to a life that is longer just our human life on this earth.  We are offered a path that is everlasting and filled with love.  I also want to remind us that the tomb up until Easter morning had in it a dead body.  Death had diminished whatever hope and possibility the disciples and the faithful followers of Jesus had up until his being killed on the cross.  Those who believed in Jesus were full of grief, full of disappointment, full of fear, and full of doubt.  They found themselves in hiding and wondering what would come of their life going forward.

Hope became possible when the women went to the tomb on that Easter morning and discovered something beyond their wildest imaginations.  The tomb was found to be EMPTY.  The empty space in the tomb meant that Jesus’s words were true.  The empty tomb meant that hope could be restored.  The empty tomb meant that a new future was now in front of them that did not exist before their arrival.

Empty does not always relate to a negative or diminished perspective.  When a person feels empty in their life they are truly the most open to new possibilities and strength from others. Jesus has a way of finding people at places of great despair and offering them a new life, a new passion, a new path.  Their openness to Jesus was because some empty space was present for them to receive what Jesus had to give.

Let the empty tomb of Jesus this Easter take on a new meaning for you.  Empty some space for Easter morning and be open to what God might do in your life.

Grace and Peace,
Rev. Dr. Christopher Wilson