Love Your Neighbor (Mark 16:1-8)

Reflections on Mark 16:1-8

Read Mark 16:1-8:

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Each Thursday on the Daily Connection we reflect on what it means to Love Your Neighbor in relation to the Scripture text for the week.  We do this in light of what Jesus calls ‘part two’ of the greatest commandment (See Mark 12:28-34) - to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Obviously, not every passage in Scripture speaks directly to this command (or the one before it to love God), but if we use these two commandments (to love God and love our neighbor) as lights to illuminate scripture by, they often revel things in the text we miss. 

On the surface, today’s text seems to have little to do with loving your neighbor. After all, the resurrection in-and-of-itself is a wonderful and mysterious thing to behold, even without thinking about its implications for our life toward others. But Mark places the reveal of the resurrection in a group of people (not just one) and also relays the instructions to tell the others. Unfortunately, the three do not connect with their ‘neighbors’ because of fear. Regrettably, I think that’s just as true today as it was two thousand years ago.  The resurrection (in all it’s many facets) is a communally unifying reality, but fear can keep us from experiencing that new reality. 

Questions for reflection:

  1. What fears are keeping you from embracing your neighbor (whoever they might be).
  2. How does the resurrection (in all it various incarnations) set that fear in context (how does that fear compare to resurrection)?
  3. What small thing could you do today to challenge one of these fears?

Questions or discussion? Click here to comment.

Tomorrow on the Daily Connection: Who Is My Neighbor?

About the Author
Isaac Gaff is the Managing Director of Worship and Creative Arts at Calvary UMC