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Idle Tales

Luke 24:1-12

Fritz von Uhde, ~1893, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Woman, Why Weepest Thou?

Sometimes we have a hard time accepting someone else’s story, especially if it seems fantastical or unbelievable. If we haven’t experienced anything like it in the past, or it doesn’t align with our worldview, or even our knowledge of physics, then likely our first instinct is to dismiss the story. When the idea for the automobile first started to circulate, some scientists at the time thought it would be impossible. They claimed you would suffocate if you went faster than 35 MPH because the amount of air hitting your face would make it impossible to breathe. My grandmother told me of people who watched the first moon landing on TV, yet they didn’t believe it was real. They said it was all staged. Unfortunately, some of these skeptics persist today. There are claims that the wars we witness and the shootings that happen in our communities are just idle tales, false flags, or stunts to promote an agenda. Imagine, for a moment, telling your friends about some amazing thing you just saw, and they tell you it isn’t true. We’d be hurt by their lack of trust or faith in what we experienced. And for the skeptic present, there is likely no way to convince them of what just happened. This is what happened to the women who witnessed the empty tomb. The men did not believe. It took Peter to go and check it out for himself before this idle tale became reality.

Our faith is built on the words of people who lived long ago. The words and experiences of faith that were unexpected, bewildering, impossible, and unbelievable to the people back then are just as unbelievable for us today. Creation, the vast universe of stars, planets, and life itself, is made from nothing. This is unbelievable. The parting of the Red Sea, bringing salvation to God’s people, seems unbelievable. A man, dead three days, being raised to life also seem like an idle tale, unbelievable even to the point of nonsensical… unless you are a person with faith.

People with faith see the world slightly differently from those without. We see the hand of God working in our lives and the world. We see the unimaginable happen in our midst. I have known many people who tell stories of how they should have died. Whether it was from a tragic accident in which they walked away without a scratch or a horrible, incurable disease that unexplainably left their body. For some reason, these people who should have died are alive. And if I recall correctly, I can’t think of a single one who believes that their survival was just the luck of the draw or a statistical anomaly. They believe their survival comes directly from the hand of God. But for those without faith, these stories may seem like idle tales.

Our faith does more than allow us to believe in the lore of the past or present. Our faith gives us hope amid tragedy, war, and pain. Our faith tells us to expect the unexpected. Christ tells us we are not judged on who we were but on who we are now. He says every human being is loved, regardless of their past. Because we believe in the story of creation we know that within each of us is the spark of the divine, the breath of God. And where God is, there is also good to be found. Through our faith, we believe that no matter what happens to us, how hard life becomes, there is hope that the future will be bright, that we can live in peace, and that the Lord is by our side. This is the story of the resurrection. We just went through the darkest of times and now we bask in the glory of the resurrected Lord.

If these are but idle tales, how can we say that we will proclaim by word and example the Good News in Christ? If we don’t believe this, how can we seek and serve Christ in all people? And if we don’t believe in the idle tale of Easter, then how can we embrace the hope of life everlasting.

We can’t be shy about what the Lord has done for us. We can’t keep our stories a secret. Easter is not a day to sit in silence, for Christ the Lord is risen today. We should exclaim to all people this Good News. We should share the story of how we have been touched by Christ. We should declare how the empty tomb has changed our lives. The Lord is risen, and we shout Alleluia! The Lord is risen, and death no longer has a hold on our life. The Lord is risen, and we will be raised in the end.

There will always be skeptics, who don’t believe, but we shouldn’t let them stop us from proclaiming the truth. We know the truth, the unexplainable truth, a truth that has not only changed but continues to change our lives and the world.

With this Good News, we can go into the world and live life, assured that there are more idle tales to be told. More miracles to be seen. More wonder and awe than we can imagine. So go and live life in the assurance that through your walk with Christ your salvation is at hand. And you can live life more fully and more faithfully than ever before.

Alleluia, Christ is risen.


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