The oldest known ending of the Gospel of Mark (16:1-8) did not include an appearance by the resurrected Jesus. Rather, it concluded with an angelic vision and Jesus’ female followers leaving his empty tomb in fear and amazement. This prayer is for all who, like those women, seek God in times of despair and find hope that is beyond comprehension.
In the midst of death, O God,
we come looking for you.
We come with sacred spices for anointing—
the scent of sorrow in our noses,
the smell of sleeplessness heavy on us.
We come driven by both duty and doubt,
unable to do anything else,
helpless, hurting, hungering for your comfort.
We come at some risk to ourselves,
clutching our coverings close around us,
knowing it may not be safe to leave our shelter.
But we do not find you where we expected,
not lifeless, encased in the tomb of our grief.
You are not there.
You have risen.
You go before us.
You are out in front,
ahead of our presuppositions,
beyond imagined possibilities.
You are before us,
calling us to research and create,
to serve and shelter,
to protect and feed,
to live and love,
to be and breathe.
You are here,
with us now,
in the places we need to go,
to grow and heal and discover
New life. Life abundant.
Neither fear nor grief nor silence
can hold back hope.
Liberate our future by your resurrection light,
and let the daybreak of wholeness
shine in the darkness.