The Need to Explain

It is sometimes uncomfortable to sit in the mystery of the unknown.

Read Mark 16:1-8.

Compared to John’s account, Mark’s gospel is spare in the details. John ties the resurrection up in a nice little bow with Jesus calling Mary’s name and Mary running to tell the disciples. Mark leaves the women fleeing in terror and amazement, afraid to tell anyone. It’s no wonder that decades later, scribes felt the need to flesh out the ending by adding vs. 9-20. Obviously, someone told someone who told someone else or we would not have heard the story, but it tells us something about human nature that we need to fill in sketchy details. It is sometimes uncomfortable to sit in the mystery of the unknown.

Can you think of a time when something happened or someone acted in a way that you didn’t understand? How did you make sense of it? What motives did you assign to God or to the person involved? What reasons did you give? How helpful did it end up being to fill in the story yourself? I wonder if a more faithful response would be to say, “This thing has happened and I don’t understand why. But I am going to trust God to bring something out of it – whether it be a sense of God’s presence and strength, a deeper understanding of myself, or a stronger human connection.”

In prayer, ask Jesus to give you peace about something you do not understand and commit yourself to trusting that God is up to something, even if you cannot grasp it right now.


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