An Awkward Silence
“. . . they said nothing to anyone, . . .” Mark 16:8
There’s nothing one can do to prepare for loss. Try as we may to distribute the weight of loss, it will backfire on us. Our best plans to compensate, our best counsel we give ourselves, all will fail entirely. The gospel of Mark doesn’t end in a shout of triumph. It doesn’t end with His followers as bold, courageous witnesses. Rather, it climaxes in fearful, awkward silence.
The women and the disciples all had learned how to live with Jesus. He was their Savior and friend, but they were not ready to live without Him. Jesus was gone. Death had arrived.
They felt only the presence of subtraction. Though it was the first day of a new creation, it didn’t feel that way. For all parties involved, it was an abrupt ending. Jesus is gone and they are mute.
We are no different than the disciples. Caught off guard by the violent crowds in the garden, like Peter, we find ourselves surrounded in enemy territory. We are easily moved by fear, predisposed to shrink back. Commissioned to go tell, in a death-filled world, of the life of Jesus, yet frozen where we stand in silence made mute by fear.
Last week many heard the news on Easter Sunday. They sang of His resurrection and His victory over death. Yet all too many went quietly back home to Easter dinner, to extravagant egg hunts and overdosing on chocolate. Then, the next day they returned to the routine of life, unaffected by the great news of Jesus. They are neither filled with awe nor compelled to tell anyone about what they know.
The masses believe Easter in a traditional way, but not a transformative, life-altering message. They have nothing to say to anyone. No glad word is spoken. There’s no shine in their countenance that they have heard anything earth-shattering. They know the melody of the worship songs, but their life doesn’t move in rhythm to the chorus. The actions of life do not carry the news of an infinite God who defeated death.
What keeps you silent?