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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, November 10, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 20:27–38  

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.” Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.” (NRSV)

Reflection
Land your plane, guys.

“Moses wrote . . . if a man’s brother dies . . . the man shall marry the widow . . . seven brothers . . . the second and the third . . . all seven died childless . . . finally . . .”

Oh, honestly. It’s like the Sadducees spinning out this hypothetical expect Jesus to be floored by it, like he’s going to gasp, “My God, I’ve never thought of it like that before!” Of course he’s thought of it. He just doesn’t want to waste the time it would take to engage their tale on their terms.

So it’s like this: the future is in God’s hands, and that means it’s in good hands. The future of “that age,” the future of “resurrection from the dead,” is hard to imagine, so don’t try. Just know it’s good, like gooder than good. It’s so good that institutions we take as fundamental to human experience will be wholly irrelevant; nobody will need to be “given” to anyone in this future.

And lest we equate Jesus’ future vision with a fantasy, he reminds us that the God behind (and ahead) of it is the God we know well, the God of those who have come before, the God not of the dead but of the living.

Prayer
God of the living, fit us for the future, even as you accompany us in the present, just as you have all your peoples’ past. Amen.

Written by Rocky Supinger, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry

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