I Peter 5.5-14; Psalm 88; Mark 16.15-20
Spin doctors aren’t new to our era. In the far expanses of the Roman Empire criers would come into town proclaiming “Good News! Good News!” and proceed to announce the latest of the Emperor’s words, deeds and designs.
“The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ” St Mark began writing—his Gospel thought by most careful readers today to have been the first such effort—and as if in one breathless, voluble utterance he recited what others had related to him, the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God [Mark 1.11], until, as if his pencil suddenly snapped, he stopped on a dangling preposition. A young man in a white robe had declared to myrrh-bearing women that the Jesus they sought was not dead but risen. “You must go and tell his disciples” he insisted; but they “ran away from the tomb because they were frightened out of their wits; and they said nothing to a soul, for they were afraid.” [Mark 16.8]
Someone later added a few paragraphs to bring the work to a more satisfying conclusion, but some may think the jagged, abrupt ending proclaims the Good News even more profoundly, Good News so overwhelming that it reduces us to babbling incoherence [Mark 9.6], Good News so transformative that it stops us in our tracks and changes our direction [Mark 10.52], the Good News that over earth’s darkness [Mark 15.33] the sun is rising. [Mark 16.2]