Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 18: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 45; Evening, Psalms 47 and 48;
1st Kings 16:23 to 34; Philippians 1:12 to 30; Mark 16:1 to 20:
“And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterwards Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.” (The shorter ending of the Gospel of Mark; NRSV)
As one who studies the Bible I had a hard time with this brief and somewhat challenge to the Easter message. Where are the Resurrection stories? Where is the Great Commission? Where is the witness on the road to Emmaus? Where are the admonishments for not believing Mary Magdalene?
So, some words were added to Mark later to provide similar endings contained in the other Gospel accounts. Even in Mark’s closings there is inconsistency about whether the women leaving the tomb either, talked to no one, or as suggested in the extended version, went and told those who were with him. It can’t be both ways can it?
I guess what I glean from the short version, alleged to be the first recorded Gospel account, is that our Lord Jesus did in fact come back to life and that he “sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.”
That’s what I really want, eternal salvation. I don’t believe that this life is all there is. My hope is in the Name of the Lord. He who was raised from the dead, will raise his followers from their end of life also. How then should we be living our lives now in this life as we prepare for being raised into the next, and there being present with all who have gone before us?
He is Risen; Halleluiah!
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John