This morning Christians around the world awoke with a renewed sense of hope because over two thousand years ago a stone was rolled away from a dark, empty tomb, and from the emptiness new possibilities emerged. Agonizing pain, misery, and the darkness of human nature were replaced by wonder, awe, and excitement. New life, another chance, and a revived sense of meaning and purpose sprang forth from a nothingness that meant everything.
Not all are feeling hopeful this morning. Some may still feel encased, unable to breathe or catch a glimpse of an end in sight. How many are paralyzed beneath the pressure of their circumstances? I wonder, how many awoke buried in work or debt, or perhaps fear or sadness? There are surely those who are suffering, those who are grieving, and those who are toiling to keep their heads above the weight of their burdens. Life’s events can sometimes feel like stones that knock us down, and we can become exhausted from trying to roll them away on our own.
But life's burdens are not meant to be carried or pushed alone. We need others to get us through the struggles, to accompany us in our trials and to help us roll away those heavy stones, lest we become exhausted or buried. Even in the gospel story, we hear the concern of the weight of the stone and the inability to move it without assistance. Although there were several there at the tomb, they still needed more help. Mark 16:3 reads “And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?’”
As we celebrate this joyful day that is filled with hope and new promise, let’s remember that it all started with a community of people who encountered a tragic event and accompanied one another through it. Together they went to pay homage, but they knew there was a stone -- a seemingly insurmountable obstacle -- that seemed as if it might stand in their way. They approached the scene together, sad and afraid, but ready to enlist others to help remove the obstacle.
Those who were at the scene of the tomb were blessed. When they arrived, the stone had already been removed for them! There was no need to struggle; no need to fear. They were the first to be set free by the One who showed them the way. The way revealed was self-emptying love -- the kind of love that rolls away the stones that entomb faith. They were amazed" and sent off to share the news so that others too might know and experience the relief, joy, and hope. All was shared with the community so that all could be set free.
Today let's remember to help others roll away those stones that life has cast at them -- stones that weigh them down, bury their hope, and kill their faith. Let's leave no stone unturned.
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