Devotion for April 1, 2021 from Pastor Barbara Caine of Holy Redeemer:
The angel told the women, “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.” 8So 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. – Mark 16:7-8
This is the real ending of the Gospel of Mark. Oh, additions have been made that talk about Jesus’ resurrection, but they are clearly written by someone else at another time. Mark’s story ends with people who’ve been traumatized by Jesus’ death and cannot take in the idea that Jesus is alive, so they say nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Today, we have a world full of people who’ve been traumatized, traumatized by personal loss and traumatized by reports of loss. Although many have been vaccinated and are soon to be, because of the events of the past year, it’s hard not to feel as if we are all collectively waiting for the other shoe to drop, that what looks like progress might not be.
I take heart in hearing these women’s story. If we didn’t know better, we would think that no one ever heard that Jesus tomb was empty, that the resurrection never happened, that once Jesus died, he stayed dead. It brings to mind the voice of Paul Harvey, the radio announcer, saying, “…in a moment….the rest of the story.”
At this moment in time, we do not know the rest of the story of our lives, or the virus, or its aftermath, but we do know one thing. We are not alone, no matter how few people we see in a day. When Jesus rose from the grave, he never went back. And because he lives, because he conquered death, we can let go of our fear, as these women had to have done, and we can live out the story of Jesus. We can live in love, we can care for others, we can share our faith, and we can do all we can to make this world that God loves so much a place of hope and joy and peace.
Jesus came to bring that hope and joy and peace and to share it with us, to allow us to be a blessing. Because of that, now we know…..the rest of the story.
In Christ, Pastor Barbara