APRIL 12 – JOURNEY TO RESURRECTION
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.