No Christmas in Mark’s Gospel

The Gospel of Mark

One day I asked a noon bible class I taught at Holy Cross, “What would Christmas be like, if we only had the Gospel of Mark?”

No Mary and Joseph, no manger, no heavenly host, no shepherds no wise men.  Just this, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”  He immediately (Immediately is a big word in Mark) jumps to John the Baptist’ ministry and the baptism of the thirty-year-old Jesus.  Immediately, the Holy Spirit drives Jesus to his temptation followed by the announcement, “The time if fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel.”

No time to dilly dally.  It’s time to turn around and trust what God is doing through Jesus.  In sixteen hurried chapters, Mark recalls Jesus’ ministry. Finally, on Sunday morning when the women go to the tomb to complete Jesus’ burial, it’s too late. “He is not here,” a young man informs them. They are to tell the disciples to meet Jesus back in Galilee.

The women flee in panic, trembling, astonished and speechless. So, Mark’s Gospel ends. Now a better ending is in our hands.  But it’s not the end. For us, it’s the beginning.  To go forth and live and speak of this astonishing good news.



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