I’ve spent the last few months, mostly in private, considering the identity of Christians in light of our nationalities. Since moving to the Nashville area, I’ve never felt less settled. Less at home, at least in most respects. I’m still trying to figure out the culture here, including the different flavor of passive aggressiveness. The general acceptability of (or, at least, the non-dismissive attitude toward) Christianity in the area continues to throw me for a loop. And then there’s all the other matters of being an adult that are unlike Canada—the tax system and healthcare being chief among them.
It’s a weird place and a weird time if you’re from the outside.
Which is why I find myself continually thanking God for the existence of the local church. Whenever we gather together with a body of believers in the area, even as visitors or semi-regular attendees as we’ve been doing over the last several months,1 it reminds us that there’s still one thing that’s the same, even if the faces and songs aren’t. And that doesn’t change for us just because this Sunday happens to be Easter. If anything, it makes this truth more real for me.
All around the world, Christians are celebrating the empty tomb. Christ is risen. “He is not here,” as the angels said. The empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus, is a key proof of the good news of Jesus. His work was finished. Sin and death were defeated. And all who believe, from that point on into our own day and beyond until the day he returns, ultimately having nothing to fear.
But the empty tomb isn’t good news just because sin is defeated (though it is that). It’s good news because it points us to home. The home we long for. The new creation where we will spend eternity with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Where every last remnant of sin will be washed away. The home that is ours, if we are in Christ.
The local church isn’t perfect by any means. But it does give us an opportunity to celebrate this good news, not just on Easter Sunday, but every Sunday. Every week when we gather, it is to share this good news—”He is not here, but he has risen!” (Luke 24:6, CSB).
The tomb is empty. He is risen. Home is on the way.
- Trying to land in a church in a new country is hard, y’all. ↵