Easter begins with emptiness, proceeds to mystery, and only then to power.
Easter begins at an empty tomb, with bewildered disciples, and an absent Jesus. It is like a church on Good Friday afternoon, stripped of its symbolic art, its congregation elsewhere.
Easter begins at the boundary of our own emptiness, a void into which all our greatest loves have either disappeared or soon will.
Easter begins with mysterious visitors, cryptic hints, strange coincidences, and unexpected promises.
“He is going ahead of you into Galilee,” the women are told. “Oh great!” They complain to each other. “More of this discipleship business.” They were right: much more of it.
At the door of the empty place we hear the words: “more of this!” More love. More hope. More broken bread and shared wine. More brokenness of every kind.
And then the power, the Spirit, the ecstatic joy. The empty place becomes strangely full, and smells like Easter lilies and candle wax. The absence becomes a different sort of presence. The broken body becomes a different sort of bread.