“The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” ~Mark 1:1

Mark begins his gospel by telling us up front it’s a story about a beginning, a starting point. The good news from Mark is that God begins again with his chosen people by sending his Son. At the end of the story, though, things don’t look so great. The women sneak away from the empty tomb, paralyzed by fear. They’re commanded by the angel to tell the good news of Jesus’ resurrection but “they said nothing to anyone because they were afraid” (Mark 16:8)

However — praise God! — failure, fear, and denial are not the end of the story. We know because we have the gospels and because we belong to God’s Church in Christ today that the women did overcome their fear. So did Peter and the disciples. Their failures, detailed over and over in the book of Mark, were not fatal.

And neither are ours.

God is the one who consistently makes something out of nothing; he constantly turns awful things into wonderful things; he continually brings life out of death. What seems like the end is only a new beginning. Today, our God continues to work with and revive his people.

Christianity is not a closed book. The redeeming work of God in Jesus is not done. The gospel story continues today. As members of God’s family, we continue to write sacred history. We are the latest chapters in a continuing story of God’s good news of salvation. The question for us then is, as it was for the early disciples in Mark, “Where do we go from here?”

The next stage is up to us. How will we continue the story? Will we cower in fear or boldly proclaim the glad tidings of Jesus to our world?