The gospel of Mark has two endings. The first ending is in 16:8 while the second adds ten more verses. I won’t go into all the reasons there are two endings but I will say, the first one speaks to me. The following is Mark 16:1-8 in the Common English Bible (the women’s edition).
I first heard of this translation from Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles at the Summer Institute for Theology and Disability a few years ago. Here it is:
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices so that they could go and anoint Jesus’ dead body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb. They were saying to each other, ‘Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. (And it was a very large stone!)
“Going into the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right side; and they were startled. But he said to them,. ‘Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised. He isn’t here. Look, here’s the place where they laid him. Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.
“Overcome with terror and dread, they fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.”
This bible has comments scattered throughout. The comment prior to this passage says in part, “Perhaps this ending casts us in the role of the women, perhaps we confront this question of faith; Will we be silent and fearful, or will we proclaim God’s life-giving power in those places where we assumed death to have the upper hand.”
I may be taking the comment a little out of context but what I hear goes something like this. “Tamara, you have just written a book with Joyce Hollyday called, Forgetting the Former Things: Brain Injury’s Invitation to Vulnerability and Faith. How can you use this experience to proclaim God’s life-giving power to those who have sustained brain injuries? How can your story proclaim life-giving power to all those around you?”
I am a little uncomfortable being so vulnerable with those around me. But perhaps my willingness to share my vulnerability will give others courage to share there tender places. I have other thoughts about this book, but it is late and Holy Saturday will soon be over. Tomorrow I will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and his life giving power.