A couple of weeks ago our deacon told this story: Phillip was a special child and as he entered into his new class, the other children began to realize and to understand more about Phillip and treated him with kindness. As the year went along and Easter approached, the children were given "Hanes" hosiery plastic "eggs" and asked to go outside and put something that reminded them of Easter or New Life into the egg. As all the children gathered back into the classroom, each opened their eggs and shared their discoveries. Some released butterflies while others shared flowers and green grass. Phillip opened his egg and there was nothing inside. The children did not understand and one said that for Phillip to have nothing was dumb. But Phillip said, "No it is not dumb. This egg is like the tomb where Jesus was and it is empty."
As Deacon Marty shared the story, my girls looked at me because they knew there would be tears. My brother Phillip died at the young age of 33, he would have been 53 today, and his son Phillip at, I think, age 11. Without Easter, without the empty tomb, without the belief in the Resurrection, I would stand in that church as empty as Phillip's large plastic egg. My tears were tears of joy in belief of the Resurrection. Tears of joy that my brother and my nephew have a share in so much more. We are all fortunate on this Easter Sunday to believe in the New Life that Jesus gave and in the possibility that lies ahead for us of so much more. Phillip's idea may have needed some explanation, just as my brothers' always did, and he may have been a little different from the others in the class, but his discovery leads us all to think a little more, to go a little deeper. May this Easter be one filled with the joy of His Resurrection and the joy of knowing there is so much more because of that empty tomb.