SPOILER ALERT (Sopranos Ending) There was a huge out cry when almost 12 million people watched the final episode of the series cut abruptly to black (you can watch it here.) Why do you think people were so upset?
When you watch movies-what kind of endings do you like? Happy? Sad? Surprise? Resolved? Unresolved? Why?
Read Mark 16.1-8. Think about how it sounds. How do you feel about this as an ending?
Now read 16.9-20. What do you notice? Do they sound the same? How is the content different?
At the end of vs. 8 the disciples have all scattered (as Jesus predicted,) and the women who have encountered the empty tomb are terrified and tell no one what they have seen.
Mark's story of Jesus becomes the story of his followers, and their story becomes the story of the readers. Whether they will follow or desert, believe or misunderstand, see him in Galilee or remain staring blindly into an empty tomb, depends on us. Richard A. Burridge, Four Gospels, One Jesus? A Symbolic Reading 64.
The shorter ending of Mark allows us to reflect on the outcome of our own "discipleship project."
At the beginning of a new year, we have the opportunity to hit the reset button. What are some things in your life that need a reset? How can the new year give you an opportunity to do that?
What have been the most frustrating challenges you have faced in following Jesus?
What are ways, as a church that we can support one another in our “discipleship project?”