April 7, 2021
Mark 16: 1-8 NRSV
Three Rivers District
Mark 16:1-8 NRSV
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
The ending of the Gospel of Mark has long troubled believers. The abrupt conclusion and lack of resolution make it seem unfinished, so much so, that at least two concluding statements were tacked on later manuscripts to help tidy it up. However, Mark very obviously crafted a “cliffhanger” of an ending. One can imagine a crowd of listeners crying out, “Wait! What happened next?” after hearing the thrilling story of Jesus.
In a very real sense, it is fitting that the Gospel story remains unfinished because the work of Jesus remains unfinished. The earthly chapter of Jesus’ life and ministry drew to a glorious close in the empty, opened tomb, but his ongoing work in the Blessed Trinity continues in the hearts and lives of people everywhere. All Christians share a piece of that ongoing story as we reflect on the work of the Risen Christ in our lives, and all Christians are called upon to be ready to share their stories when seekers ask, “Well, what happened?”
Question: Where have you felt the power and presence of the Risen Christ in your life? How would you tell someone else about those experiences?
Loving God, we thank you for the life, work, and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Remind us, Lord, of your work in our lives. Give us ears to hear your message to us, and give us the wisdom to share the good news of your love to those who wish to hear. Help us to love you and our neighbors more each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.