Wednesday, March 13, 2013

an impossibly bad ending that's good news

"They [left the tomb] said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid."

Uh, no, a biblical gospel can't end like that.

Unless it does.

As it must.

One of the arguments in favor of this probable ending   of Mark's gospel (16:8) is that it's

  • real
  • really real
  • honest
  • not nice and tidy
  • subversive
The gnotty theological problems with the verses 9-20 ending are notorious.
The main problem with the (yet) other alternative ending (which hardly anyone treats as orignal):

"But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation": it DOES wrap things up (too) nicely.

It is brutally and graciously honest.

These short videos on Mark are helpful:
   Joe Dongell
   Ben Witherington

Ben Witherington: Gospel of Mark

At least it doesn't leave Jesus dead..though we need to do that once in awhile.
Ask Peter Rollins about that sometime.
Or Bruce Cockburn and Monty Python.
Or Ray Bradbury.
Or Walter Wangerin:

Reading in seminary the chilling passage in Wangerin's "The Orphean Passages" where the pastor can't even speak on Good Friday has hopefully cured me once and for all of the extreme end of the"It's Friday, but Sunday's coming" spectrum.

From the book:

"Jesus was dead. There was absolutely nothing left to say."

That's not the expected Good Friday sermon.

But it's the only one we have.

I wrote in my response paper, realizing I didn't get Friday grieving:

"Do I know or love Jesus?"

I don't always love lament, but lament loves me. I grieve not grieving.
Here's my Good Friday message from a years ago.."The Lord Be With You..,,.Even When He's Not!"   -
  Yes, I know he's not not with us.
But even though that's the point, it's sometimes not the point.
It's partly Friday on Sunday sometimes.
                -Link: Well-Ended Stories That Don't End Well

If you think this is crazy, you probably aren't ready to hear that Jesus died naked. either.

But that's the good news.
It's the only way the veil is ripped,
and the only means of death being subverted..
and me being converted.

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