Author Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v. 8, ‘terror and fear had seized them… they were afraid’
The abrupt closure in the Gospel of Mark is my favorite of the Gospel endings. I love the touching relational details and interactions, the resurrection stories and reunions of the other Gospels. And sure, it can be nice to tie a big bow around the end of a story like a prim Easter bonnet and rest in the resolution that it all finished according to plan. But there is something strikingly real and relatable about the frantic open-endedness the writer of Mark leaves for us. I feel that especially this year. As Christians, some 2,000 years after Mark’s writing, we know how this story ends, and yet, we also know that the hope and promise of resurrection do not make everything instantaneously easier or resolved.
In equal parts today, I rejoice that death has been conquered by love in Christ, while I also mourn the stark reality that I do not always quite know what to do with that as I face another difficult day. I believe in resurrection, but I am also well acquainted with the death we experience here and now. I can see hope breaking like the dawn, but I do not quite yet feel its warm rays. Right now, the chill of the morning dew still feels a lot like fear and questions left unanswered. And yet, the tomb is empty. I stand before it in awe and fear. This year I feel a deep companionship with the women still vacillating between terror and amazement, running toward they know not what, filled with new hope still strongly spiked with fear. This Easter, I embrace that this is an acceptable place to be—maybe its even a faithful place to be, as we find ourselves caught up in a cautious hope that yearns and runs toward life.
Prayer May the hope of resurrection break upon us like the dawn. May we run toward you, O Lord, in our fear, our awe, and our rampant, reckless hope.