April 4, 2018


April 4, 2018


Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Song of Solomon 3:1-11

Mark 16:1-8

This weekend’s reading: Luke 24:13-35

I love mysteries. I love shows and books where I get to guess how things will end or who did it. I particularly love when I figure it out, when I am able to guess the surprise ending only to get there and discover that I was right! In the end, I think maybe I like having my expectations met, like solving the puzzle more than the mystery itself. When I guess the ending wrong, I am usually frustrated and confused, though sometimes impressed that the writers were clever enough to keep me guessing.
The gospel reading today has one of those unexpected endings, both for the women and for us today. In Mark’s gospel, the women arrive at the tomb early in the morning. They are going to look in on Jesus and anoint his body in his final resting place. Only what they find there is not at all what they were expecting! They are looking for Jesus and Jesus is no longer there. Instead, a heavenly figure in a white robe tells them what has happened and what they are to do now. Surprise ending! Jesus is not dead; he’s alive! Go and tell the disciples. 
And here is where the surprise comes in for us, Mark’s gospel ends with them running away in fear. Can you say cliffhanger? We know that the story does not actually end there. We know that the news of Jesus’ resurrection makes its way to the disciples and then those disciples will share it everywhere. But the text here leaves us hanging. It does not meet our expectations especially if we read the endings of the other 3 gospels. Why Mark does this is not clear. What is clear is that with God we should expect the unexpected. 

Life with God rarely meets our expectations. God often surprises us and often surpasses our limited expectations. God loves us more than we can imagine and God uses the unexpected to challenge us and to help us grow.


  • How does God exceed your expectations?


  • How can you provide an unexpected act of kindness for someone this week?

God of the unexpected, thank you for the gift of surprise. Thank you for the resurrection of Jesus which triumphs over death. Help us to trust you in everything. Amen.