Saturday, 11 April 2009

Service of Light – 11 April 2009 Easter Eve

Gospel Reading

Jesus Christ is risen from the dead


He has defeated the powers of death


Jesus turns our sorrow into dancing


He has the words of eternal life.


Jesus Has Risen

Mark 16

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 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 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "

8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

At the end

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.


Burial at end of Mark 15. Women watch from afar. Mary Magdalene; Mary mother of James and Joseph; and Salome. Plus many other women there too.

Preparation Day (before Sabbath) Joseph of Arimathea asks for body and buries it in tomb. 2 Mary’s see where the body is laid.

Same 3 women go to tomb at sunrise. Anoint the body. Discuss how the stone can be rolled back.

When arrive, see stone already rolled away. See young man dressed in white, who tells them Jesus risen. Gone to Galilee. The women are to tell Jesus’ disciples ‘and Peter’ to see him there.

8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

End of Mark’s gospel. Women say nothing to anyone and flee away in fear. Are these Mark’s last words?

No account of risen Jesus. Later longer ending not be same author. Represents attempt to complete narrative and append more satisfactory ending.

Mystery has not been resolved. Many theories. Women clearly did not stay silent. Clumsy ungrammatical ending at verse 8 may mean gospel was incomplete. Later scribes evidently thought so. We have other gospels to refer to. All attest to continued human failure to follow God’s commands. Women told to speak out, yet they cower in fear. We may probably have done the same. On this night of Easter, we have the chance to reflect on the disciples response to the death of their master; the women’s faithfulness in the absence of the men during his crucifixion; and subsequently our own response to his command to speak out as witnesses to our faith and to the events of Passiontide and Easter. Amen

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