Mark 16:5-6

Thursday April 16, 2020

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body.” Mark 16:5-6

We’ve spent this week focusing on the last chapter of Mark – at the tomb with the women and this “young man clothed in a white robe”. We don’t know who this man was, but he has been defined as “an angel.”

It seems that when angels meet people one of the first things they say is some version of “do not be alarmed” or “do not be afraid”. Well that makes sense to me. The women went expecting to see a large stone that they would have to move. The rock was gone.

They expected to see Jesus. Jesus was gone.

They did NOT expect to see whoever this man was. But they didn’t really have time to process this.

Jesus was gone. The proof they were given was “Look, there is where they laid his body.”

These women were given a lot of information in a short amount of time and told to not be alarmed. Really? Just how do you do that?

So – that’s my question – just how do YOU do that?

I mean, haven’t we been overwhelmed with information lately? Do we allow ourselves to “not be alarmed” or “not be afraid”? Can we maintain that “non-anxious presence” in the midst of this pandemic?

I know – the situations are completely different. One is a resurrection from the dead, and the other a world wide health crisis – but aren’t the feelings the same? Don’t we also feel afraid, anxious, apprehensive, worried, or even afraid just as the women did? Don’t we have good reason for those feelings – just as the women did?

So, if our feelings are the same, perhaps how we resolve those feelings can also be the same.

We can trust in the promise given to us – just as the women trusted the promise given to the women – trust that Jesus will be there waiting for us in the places we go – just as Jesus was in Galilee, waiting for them 2000 years ago.

Let us pray,
Gracious God, thank you for your promises that go with us when we are anxious or afraid. May your love carry us through this time of the unknown. May we find creative ways to share that love with everyone we meet. No exceptions.