Today’s Scripture: Mark 16:5-8
5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”
8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.
Sometimes you don’t like the ending. In the case of the book of Mark – it seems A LOT of people did not like the ending. And why should they? Look back at verse 8. This is the last verse of the whole book! Is this any way to end a Gospel?
And yet, all available scholarship points to the fact that this is indeed where Mark ends. But of course, some people thought that was just too abrupt, too honest, too human maybe? This story needs a proper ending! So one was written. In fact, TWO were written. A short one and then a long one. And yes, the new endings do make the story wrap up nicely. Any good editor would have done the same.
But apparently Mark did not have an editor. So we get this raw, not perfect ending. Which, if I am honest, I like better. Why? Because life does not have an editor. And sometimes the story is raw and not perfect.
I think we run into trouble when we try to make the story too perfect. We end up focusing on the presentation rather than just being honest or connecting with someone. Social Media has only amplified this desire.
But life is not all that pretty. We mess up. We get scared. We have anxiety attacks at 4:00 in the morning. So we edit. We curate. We focus on making the story as perfect as we can make it. When in reality – it’s not so perfect.
Maybe this strange ending to Mark can help us to trust our own story – even if it’s a little messy. Maybe we can be ok with being frightened or hurt or anxious. God already knows our story, so we really don’t need an editor anyway!
God forgive us for trying to make our lives seem perfect. Give us the grace to be able to tell our story without worrying about how it’s going to make us look.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Week 5, Feb 1-7
Day 21 257-268 Mk 1:1-6:6
Day 22 268-279 Mk 6:6-10:52
Day 23 279-292 Mk 11:1-16:20
Day 24 293-301 1Pe 1:1-5:14
Day 25 303-310 2Pe 1:1-3:18; Jud