This past Sunday was a beautiful and inspiring day celebrating Easter with our church family! From the intimate sunrise service to the moving traditional worship with a brass quintet and an energizing contemporary service with our band leading us in worship, it was an awe-spiring day of worship remembering Christ’s resurrection from the grave. We hope you had a blessed Easter with your family and loved ones!
In each of our worship services, we read the Gospel of Mark’s account of the resurrection in Mark 16:1-8, which is an account unlike all the other resurrection accounts in Matthew, Luke, and John. Mark closes with the line “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.” There is no appearance of the resurrected Jesus in this account and the women do not leave the tomb in joy to share the good news of Christ’s resurrection with the disciples and the world. It’s quite an uncomfortable ending, especially compared to the other Gospels’ accounts.
Pastor Mike talked about how some scholars think the real ending of Mark was lost, while others say it was deliberately torn off. Or, perhaps, this was the way the author of Mark intended to end the Gospel. In Greek, the original language it was written, it seems that it ends mid-sentence. It’s as if the author is saying this story is not a “the end” but rather a “to be continued,” which invites us to enter the story to continue to share the good news with the world. He also noted how the women’s response to the resurrection, a response of silence and terror, leaves room for those of us who struggle with doubt in our faith, particularly over the resurrection. To have doubt is not the antithesis of faith and what really matters is whether you have met the risen Christ and are shaped by the resurrection. In the resurrection, we have hope for life after death and meaningful life in this life. The angel’s last words to the women are to go to Galilee and tell the disciples and Peter the good news of Jesus Christ. Galilee was the women and disciples’ home. For the good news to reach Galilee, we have to take it there; we must share it with our own “Galilee”- our own homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools.
Pastor Katie noted how Mark’s ending is not wrapped in a nice, tidy bow like the other Gospels, rather, it has some loose strings on it. In Mark’s ending, the women leave in terror and amazement, for this experience was difficult for them to wrap their minds around. They were left speechless, overwhelmed, and in awe of the resurrection. When was the last time we were left speechless and dazed by the power of God? Do we take Easter for granted or do we find ourselves moved and transformed by this day? Sometimes we can get a little too comfortable and almost numb to the power of the resurrection in our lives. However, Easter has this kind of life-transforming, render-you-speechless kind of impact- to stand in awe at Easter. Pastor Katie shared several stories of people being left speechless at the power, hope, and love of God. She invited us to create some time for silence, as we ponder the significance of the resurrection of Jesus for our lives and world. As commentary writer Gail O’Day states, silence is a “wholly appropriate response” because it leaves space for the “presence and voice of God to resound.” Allow God to leave you in awe and speechless at the mystery, power, and hope of the resurrection this day.
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. When was the last time you were left speechless and in awe of God’s power?
2. How is God inviting you to continue the story in your workplace, home, neighborhood, and school?
Monday- Mark 16:1-8
Tuesday- Matthew 28
Wednesday- Luke 24
Thursday- John 20
Friday- John 21