Friday, April 10, 2009

Wanderings for 04 12 09

Wanderings for April 12, 2009
Mark 16:1-8

Greetings everyone. Before I get into today's Wanderings, I want to remind you to continuing bringing in your food donations for Leah's Kids Corner. The wagon is only about 1/4 full and in two weeks Bella and Ethan will be taking the offering and bringing the donated food up to the altar.

Also, Ann is continuing to sign people up for the Hunger Walk. That will be May 2, and sign-ups are in the Fellowship Hall.

This Sunday is Easter. We celebrate the Good News. When I wrote that on my Facebook wall, I had a friend write back "What's the good news?" I knew she was being silly, so I said "That I still look good!"

But what is the Good News? This Sunday we search for that answer as we read Mark 16:1-8. Do you know there are at least 5 different versions of the way Mark ends? But most scholars agree that the original Gospel of Mark ends with verse 8. It's a rather odd way to end a story.

I invite you to go ahead and read it in your Bible. As you can see the original ending to Mark 16 does not feature a glimpse of the resurrected Christ. What it does feature is an empty tomb, a young man announcing that Jesus "has been raised; he is not here" and the three woman fleeing from the tomb in terror, amazement and fear.

Odd sounding good news, isn't it? Why would Mark end his telling of the Gospel in such a way? There are various reasons possible, one I have been playing with is that Mark wants us to embrace the mystery. The young man tells the woman to tell the disciples that Jesus is "going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him..."

But they are not told how they will see Jesus, or what Jesus will look like. They are just told that they will see Jesus. As I get older, I like mystery more and don't need everything spelled out as much as I used to. I like to think that by Mark not telling us any more, by not actually showing us what a resurrected Jesus would look like or how he would appear, we are invited to use our imagination, and more then that, we are allowing ourselves to be surprised.

And surprises is a great word to describe the work of God, the Spirit and Jesus: just when you think you have it all figured out, the Trinity finds a new way to speak to us, to reveal abundant love and to surprise a world that is often too cynical and all too often full of hopeless despair. How does a resurrected Christ look to you?

Have a blessed Easter and embrace the Good News.
In abundant grace and love,
Pastor G

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