Easter Sunday, April 8
As a child, I remember watching many episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. And more often than not, my mother would chime afterwards: “Well that was a dumb ending!” Her comment reflected disappointment in that Hitchcock’s screenplays did not lend themselves to easy resolution.
My mother would have been disappointed with the original ending of the Gospel of Mark: “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.” Mark’s Gospel, like Hitchcock’s screenplays, did not lend itself to an easy resolution. The final word was one of fear and not faith. Later gospel writers embellished Mark’s account to include more fitting endings. In fact, the early church awkwardly tacked on a shorter ending – and finally a longer ending – to Mark’s.
The clue to understanding this very last verse can be found in the very first verse: “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark never intended to extend the story. Mark’s infers that, if you and I don’t extend the story with our own witness, then the good news of Jesus Christ ends with its beginning!
Maybe that’s why The United Methodist Church added the word witness to the vow that has us promise to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts and service. Without our witness, the story ends. What will your witness be that extends Mark’s Gospel?
-Submitted by Lee Neish
Where have you seen God at work in your life lately? Will you share your witness with someone or, like those who “went out and fled from the tomb, will you say “nothing to anyone because you are afraid?”