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Resurrection Appearances This Morning – Br. Mark Brown

Mark 16:15-20

Mark’s Gospel is famously compact, moving breathlessly from one scene to another in rapid succession.  Immediately he did this and straightway they did that.

Mark’s Gospel is also famous for having not one, not two, but three possible endings.  Possibility #1 is the women fleeing trembling from an angel at the empty tomb because they were afraid. End of story. Possibility #2 is a later addition called the “Shorter Ending”: “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.” End of story. (An odd detail: they “told briefly”.)  Possibility #3 includes some very brief references to three resurrection appearances followed by what we heard a few moments ago about snakes and poison and such. End of story.

Of course, it’s not the end of the story.  The whole point of the story is that there’s no end to the story. “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.”  There’s a lot of the whole creation out there! Mark, who is famously concise, is suddenly expansive, framing the gospel project in terms of the whole creation.

So, how many endings are there to the Gospel? Is it three? Or is it none?  That’s where we come in.  The resurrection appearances continue in us—in a sense, we’re the risen body of Christ. Each of us, in a sense, and in a very flawed way, is a resurrection appearance. The story continues—there is no ending to the gospel, because resurrection continues in us.

So, up!  Morning dawns.  We rise to each new day’s resurrection appearance.  Every day is “the third day”, and the first day of the week. We rise again and awaken to new possibilities—immediately, straightway.  The whole creation waits.

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11 Comments

  1. Maribel Arizpe on April 12, 2016 at 00:29

    I sooo love your messages, it´s reading them how I start my day and it feels my heart with warmth.
    I also loved your videos with your profound, simple and clear messages.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
    Maribel

  2. Tudy on April 9, 2016 at 22:37

    Oh my gosh, I can sense the energy…and the possibilities! Thank you.

  3. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on April 8, 2016 at 21:43

    I am relishing your words: “every day is ‘the third day’…” When we experience our lives like that, we discover countless opportunities for the Spirit to do her work and for the risen Christ to be manifest again within us and among us — perhaps, as you say, even “as” us. Thanks be to God!

  4. Chaplain John Bunyan (Australia) on April 8, 2016 at 21:28

    Thank you indeed – for thoughts,words, and insights that I need to ponder.

    • Chaplain John Bunyan (Australia) on April 8, 2016 at 21:30

      p.s. here in the southern hemisphere not of course in springtime but, at least in southern Australia, in the mellow autumn after the long, intense, record heat of summer – I think of Jesus coming to the glorious autumn and harvest of his day.

  5. Elizabeth Woods on April 8, 2016 at 17:55

    This is a completely new concept for me about resurrection but one I think I could eventually come to terms with after some deep thinking, whihc has been troubling me recently

  6. a city monk on April 8, 2016 at 11:21

    We are a Tah-Dah! people… the big climax, the crescendo…followed by and they lived happily ever after, a standing ovation, the crowd exiting satisfied patting each other on the back…yeah, that was really good!
    But that’s not what’s happening here… There is the creative tension… Women running away becomes women running toward toward. This is the Gospel of The Beginning… the beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Not a drama on a stage with us in the audience playing the part of the passive observers. Mark, may just as well had the women running toward you and me! How does He is Alive! shake me awake every day all over again? Most days…not. For the next 50 days or so, moving away from the empty tomb … kind of a foggy, oh yeah, right.
    Is “He is Risen as he said” — louder in my heart today than the evening news? louder than the crazy presidential election stuff? louder than the friend in congestive heart failure? louder than the complicated pregnancy hoping to full fruition? Why not! Why not!

    Am I a Mark’s Gospel kind of Christian…
    No prequel — No infant narrative. No sequel — No Upper Room, No Ascension, No Pentecost, No Acts of the Apostles — blam! instant fear filled end times?
    I am simply running in fear and confusion from the empty tomb and toward next week’s rolling back of the stone… He is Risen. Source and Summit. Am I that kind of Christian? one who has stopped with only the beginning of the Good News?

    Am I a bite size Christian? One who reduces Salvation to pieces that I can embrace sort of one at a time… a season of being a Pentecost Christian? Or am I a Christian focused on these things and more you can do and not so much about Good Friday? Or maybe a Christian with a whole lot of Holy Thursday…

    Enlarge my heart according to your will O Lord!

    The Word of God, and yet he humbled himself…
    for our good and for our salvation…

    The Blessed Trinity! and Mary’s Magnificat….
    amen, alleluia!

  7. Rhode on April 8, 2016 at 09:31

    Yesterday,I read an article in the Times about the church of the tomb of Christ in Israel that now needs an overhaul as hundreds of thousands have walked through and the space is showing much wear and tear. The article asks all 3 religions of the Book to come together and pay to fix up the area of the tomb. Ironic to have 3 contentious religions come together to fix up the empty tomb of the Saviour.
    Earlier that morning I read how the 3 Mary’s came early to the tomb and the angel asked whom they were seeking because, hey, He was risen!
    We first go as travelers and tourists to the tomb also seeking emotional proof of Christs’ reality. Some go to the tomb to venerate an interesting man, some weep over the greatest sacrifice ever offered. Yesterday, the point for me through the article and the Word and the SSJE word today is He truly is found outside the tomb. He is risen! ….to be found again and again in the Word and in us and in our neighbors and those we find difficult to love. He proves Himself alive to me in the everyday miracle of life around me. And, He is best proved alive by heading out of the tomb and living in love for the millions he died for.

  8. Rev. Robert W. Landry on April 8, 2016 at 08:53

    Thank You for the reminder. It doesn’t end even after when we are gone for there is new life promised to all in the new life, which can be here and now or then.

  9. Anne Peat on April 8, 2016 at 05:50

    Yes, that’s what I understand by resurrection!

  10. Muriel Akam on April 8, 2016 at 04:52

    Thank you. We are given a chance every day to renew our faith and ourselves. With the Spring sunshine outdoors and a cloudless blue sky what better words to accompany our avowal of rebirth in Christ.

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