April 12, 2009



By Tamara Shantz, assistant campus pastor
SCRIPTURE: Mark 16:1-8 (NRSV) Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL: In reflecting upon the Easter story as recounted in the Gospel of Mark, it sometimes feels like I’ve been taken back to my childhood and offered a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel! Which ending would you like? According to the footnotes of the New Revised Standard Version, some of the most ancient authorities have the resurrection account of Mark ending at verse 8 and so that will be the ending I’ll work with for this devotional.

Mark 16:8 leaves us with a somewhat astonishing finish — “and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.” I typically think of the Lenten season as a journey to the cross, but perhaps it would be just as appropriately identified as a journey to resurrection. In some ways, it is easier to face the cross than the resurrection. We see evidence of the realities of the cross throughout our world. It is harder sometimes to see evidence of the resurrection. And when we do see the evidence, the empty tombs and life restored, it might require something of us for which we are unprepared.

Last month, Goshen College had the pleasure of hosting Shane Claiborne and Chris Lahr from the Simple Way Community in Philadelphia. Shane spoke one evening on ‘resurrecting church’ and challenged us to live into the Kingdom of God; to be the church we long for. Perhaps God’s invitation to us this Easter is not just to believe in the resurrection, but to live into new life. What might it mean to live into a world where death no longer reigns? May God grant us eyes to see grace, hope and love at work in our world, and the courage, creativity and strength to respond in kind.


Thank you for joining the students, faculty and staff of Goshen College during Lent for these devotions. We pray they have met a spiritual need for you each day as you have walked through the wilderness and to the cross with Jesus as we have all reflected together on our lives are in God’s hands. We have been blessed to be part of your journey. Join us again when the season of Advent begins (unless you unsubscribe, they will automatically come to you when they start again in late November).


SCRIPTURE: 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.



Comments (18)

  1. A very powerful ending to this series. I think this one really captures all of what Easter is about.

    Randal Keener April 12, 2009 |
  2. Hello, Tamara,
    Thanks for your Easter reflections this morning, an I just wanted to comment that the scripture you quotes this Easter morning was not taken from Mark 16; 1-8 but from Peter’s witness found in Acts 10;34-43 addressing all those gathered in Cornelius’ House after the Holy Spirit finally got through to him that the message of Jesus death and resurrection include all nations and people.

    Lewis Overholt April 12, 2009 |
  3. I found the daily devotions very inspirational and appreciated them so much

    Marcella Stalter April 12, 2009 |
  4. Thank you all very much for accompanying me on this Lenten journey. I appreciate all the reflectin that went into it.

    Don Heydens April 12, 2009 |
  5. First of all I want to thank the students an staff of Goshen College for the wonderful diverse devotionals during this Lenten Season.
    Happy and blessed Easter to all of you!
    Second I would like to comment on the devotion for today: It is interesting to me that someone would actually “make a big deal” out of the fact that the Lenten Season not only leads up to the cross but beyond … to Easter, … because that was my understanding for, among others, the reasons Tamara listed… but it is good to hear (read) it and be reminded of it from others … because it is a “big deal” … thank you!
    He is risen, He is risen indeed!

    Irina Guenzel-Guerra April 12, 2009 |
  6. I appreciated the woman’s perspective on Mark’s gospel–I have myself written first-person sermons from the women’s perspective and loved the reaction I got.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed walking through Lent with the Goshen College community–thank you!

    miranda rand April 12, 2009 |
  7. We have followed the readings through the period of lent and thank you for your service in the Word. We feel an immediate connection with the many others who are reflecting on the meditation on any particular day. Blessings to all. (And yes, someone has commented about the incorrect scripture reference for today’s devotional )

    Marie Dueck April 12, 2009 |
  8. Thanks for the Easter Messages. I enjoyed the bright spot in my day as I joined the staff and students at GC in creative thinking. Refreshing ideas! I look forward to hearing more from you.

    MARY k MISHLER April 12, 2009 |
  9. Thank you for the thoughtful and thought-provoking devotions. All were worth reading — some directly shed light on the path that I am on.

    Kathy Klotz Reynolds April 12, 2009 |
  10. Thanks for the inspirational and challenging Lenten devotionals. I looked forward to reading them every evening, and the comments posted. I am glad my alma mater continues to help us follow Christ and walk more closely with Him. God bless.

    Diane '74 April 12, 2009 |
  11. wonderful conclusion to the years reflections. Thank you for leaving me with a profound question: what has come to life, miraculously or otherwise, as I walk in the community of believers and others around me?

    ann April 12, 2009 |
  12. I have been deeply moved and truly blessed by the devotions. I have also used frequent citings in sermons and group meditations, because the spirituality reflected here has been wonderfully instructive. I thank God for your devotion and creative insights.

    Mike Naylor April 12, 2009 |
  13. I deeply appreciated your encouragement “not just to believe in the resurrection, but to live into new life” — a call to live with creativity, hope, and imagination.

    Ann Hostetler April 12, 2009 |
  14. Thanks for leading me on my devotional path through Lent. Your diverse devotions have been thought provoking and timely.
    Easter blessings on everyone at Goshen College as we continue on this journey.

    JoAnn Barbour April 13, 2009 |
  15. Thank you for the devotions; they contribute significantly to Lent and Easter. On 1 or 2 occasions, as this last one, the Scripture text has been switched but that isn’t a big issue. Blessings! jdb

    jon byler April 13, 2009 |
  16. Thank you so much for these lenten devotions!

    Janet Geyer April 13, 2009 |
  17. This series of devotional reflections has been a wonderful gift. I trust that taking the time to write these devotionals was equally a blessing for those who participated. Thank you for creating an on line community of prayer and meditation.

    david miller April 16, 2009 |
  18. Hi Tammara, as person who quote the bible openly, is there any truth to the notion that if we do not give 10% of our earning we will not get the same blessing as the person who give 10% their earning.
    i keep the sabbath holy but i never give 10% of my earning.

    vit D February 14, 2010 |