Daily Devotion – April 5, 2021 – Pastor Erick Thompson

Mark 16:1-8

16 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. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 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. 7 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.” 8 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.

A course I taught at Augsburg, “Vocation and the meaning of Success,” was a senior capstone course for finance, business, etc. majors. One of the assignments had the students write their own obituary, New York Times style, as I called it. This meant that it had to be a good 4-5 pages, and it had to tell their story, their whole story.

In today’s gospel lesson, we’re reading the end of Mark’s Gospel, the end of Jesus’ story. What we soon realize is that there’s clearly more to the story. In fact, some early scribes copying this text didn’t like the short ending so much that they added more to it. It just wasn’t enough for them; it left too much to the imagination.

The reality is: the gospel doesn’t end this way; the resurrection doesn’t end this way. Jesus clearly does more ministry before ascending into heaven. And, the gospel is still alive even after Jesus ascended. It lives on in you and in me. We might be very much like the women at the tomb: uncertain, confused, amazed and at the same time terrified. I would bet that there will always be times where we feel afraid, or when we wonder if there is more to be written in our stories. The promise of the gospel is that God doesn’t stop writing the resurrection story on our hearts and in our minds.

God loves resurrection stories. We are a resurrection people. We are a people undaunted by obstacles because we have a God who has gone ahead of us. This means we get to write the rest of our story, and our story is God’s story. Our story is part of the gospel narrative itself. God has claimed us as part of the good news, and we have the promise of eternal life. In the meantime… we get to live. We get to celebrate this amazing gift of life. We get to continue to write our story, our own gospel story; full of the grace and love of God. A God who will bring us back from whatever tomb we have made for ourselves, and send us out to be good news for all people. What will your story be?

Prayer: Life-giving God, help us write amazing stories of grace and love and boldness. Help us to live as resurrection people, unafraid to risk in pursuit of abundant life for all people. Amen.