H is for . . .

HOKUM

How dare I suggest any of the Bible is hokum. Hooey. Balderdash. Rubbish. Any of those insults to the Good Book are nothing short of heresy. Sigh. But I think some parts are so much . . . hokum. One example: Mark’s conclusion (Mark 18:9-20). It has that add-on ending, where the Easter story is happily, easily wrapped up. It’s also riddled with buyer-beware footnotes.

Though I grit my teeth when I read it, I prefer the frantic, and more authentic, ending at Mark 16:8. It doesn’t make sense. Too much fear and uncertainty as the women dash away. However, the “bonus” ending feels like putting a fancy, expensive bow on a gag gift.  All pretty and nice.

But trying to define (confine!) the Holy produces our worst hooey. Living is messy. Guilt and grace bump into each other all the time. Better to question than conclude, doubt yourself than smack another with your personal version of the truth. Am I “H for heretical?” Sigh. Probably. But I also shout alleluia at Easter. Such a wondrous, welcoming, dangerous mystery. Life. Death. Life again. Holy, not hokum.

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