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The Shorter Ending of Mark

And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.

The Gospel of Mark has two endings-some very old manuscripts have one and some the other.

Many scholars believe that the above words should appear right after the women discover the empty tomb; as you can see there is not much information at all about Jesus’ post resurrection activity.

Maybe that is because we are the ones who are to write the rest of the story. I think that the early disciples were probably kind of like us. The world as they knew it had ceased to exist. Their leader that they depended on to guide and direct them was now out of sight. The One who they expected to lead the way was suddenly not there to give direction. They had to figure things out-to figure out how to proclaim salvation in a world that was scary and unfamiliar. A world where leaders were put to death and then rose again. A world where they were in danger simply for believing what they knew to be true.

For us, right now, the world is scary and unfamiliar. I got an email today asking if I would be part of a group working on cultivating a sense of call. They plan a video conference for the end of April (I am pretty sure I will be available for that…) and a two day meeting in August. And I had to respond that I really don’t know what August will hold. Like many of you, my plans for April all got canceled or changed into video conferences, telephone calls, shared documents on computers, videos of messages and other not-in-person things. But who knows what June or July will be like! Many of us face disruptions in the way that we thought these months would be, some face health challenges, some financial challenges, and most of us miss seeing loved ones. But still-Jesus calls us. Calls us to rely on the truth that we know. Calls us to still be about the holy task of proclaiming salvation. Not in our usual, comfortable ways-but in new and challenging circumstances. Using means that are unfamiliar and under unfamiliar stress.

Nonetheless: God does not call us to the impossible, because as Mary the mother of Christ proclaimed, with God all things are possible.

So hang in there, friends. Pray like you never have. Witness in every way that you can. And seek your peace from the One who is the giver of all good things, our Lord and Savior.


Pastor Kathy

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