Barry Parish Church

9th April 2023

Tearfund Lent Devotional Day 47


What to do with all those tombs of yours





‘They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with 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; he has risen!”’ (Luke 24:2-6, NIV)


There is the miraculous, and then there is the carrying on. There is Easter Sunday, and then there is the rest of your life. The tomb is empty… so what’s next?


Jesus was buried in someone else's tomb that of the still-living Joseph of Arimathea. It was normal practice in that context for tombs to be constructed in advance. Digging your own grave was not a metaphor.


I've been thinking about all the tombs I've built for myself while still alive. All the things I've said about myself like, 'I'm not good enough to…’ (Or simply, 'I'm not good enough.')


Or what about: 'I'm not smart enough.' 'I'm not attractive enough.' ‘I’ve made too many mistakes.’ 'I'm too old.' 'I'm too young.' 'What if I fail?'


And then there are the tombs that other people build for us. Those comments people make that eat their way into us: 'You're a sinner.' 'You're a disappointment.' 'You're not good enough.'


We can spend our whole lives trapped in these tombs. Except we're not trapped. We're just so used to our situation that we don't look up to see the truth:


Which is that the stones have been rolled away.


The world is out there, open, full of invitation. The angels are sitting outside, waiting for you to take those steps beyond the threshold.


You are not what other people have said about you. You are not those things you have said about yourself in the dark nights of your soul. The stones have been rolled away. The doorway is open. Step out. And keep stepping out, as many times as you need to. Easter is always.


We can all come back from whatever death we have experienced. There is no pit deep enough whether dug by yourself or others or any of the many, very real tragedies that can befall us that cannot be climbed out of.


That's what's next.







Thank you so much for joining us on this Lent journey. It has been wonderful to (virtually) walk alongside you.


This is likely to be the last time that I’ll be Editor of Tearfund’s Lent devotional, as I’ll soon be moving to pastures anew. Being able to guide people through any sort of spiritual practice is an enormous privilege, one that has been both humbling and hugely enjoyable. I’ve been involved in creating these devotionals since 2017, and will miss it immensely.


For now, all that’s left for me to say is a very happy Easter to you. Christ is risen indeed.


As a blessing to you, our team has put together this Easter video < featuring worship from a choir in Malawi and a poem of mine.


Wishing you all of God’s goodness this Easter and beyond,


Gideon Heugh

Powered by Church Edit