Did you happen to read?

That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord, ‘ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 

Thank you for joining us this Sunday as we testify to the great salvation and promise we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Today’s gospel begins very plainly and factually. Here comes another group to challenge Jesus. This time it is the Sadducees, as the gospel notes: those who deny that there is a resurrection. Well, there was good reason for their being named Sadducees because they were without hope – they were sad-you-see.

The Sadducees, like others, are going to Jesus, not to learn anything whatsoever, but to prove a point and show Him to be a worthless prophet. They come with this story of the widow who marries various brothers and after the seventh dies, leaving no heir to the original brother, the widow says, thank God that is over.

This process of one brother marrying the widow of another brother to ensure he has heirs is found in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 25:5-10 if you would like to look it up.

This kind of marriage is called a Levirate marriage. In many positive ways it served as a protection for the childless widow who would have no one, being childless, to provide for or protect her. This type of marriage also ensured the survival of the clan.

What is interesting here is that by Jesus’ time the practice of levirate marriage was out of favor and had declined in practice. That being the case, the Sadducees question was strange in and of itself – and it gets stranger.

The Sadducees’ question becomes even stranger when you consider how manufactured it was. It was a reductio ad abusurdum argument, trying to prove that there cannot possibly be a resurrection because all these absurd machinations of marriage and childlessness would come to chaos in eternity, everyone looking for a spouse and wandering about heaven calculating who it might be. As such, reduced to, the resurrection is absurd.

Here Jesus, while not wasting time on their absurd question, cuts to the chase. And to really understand this we need to know that the Sadducees only believed in and followed the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch. 

Jesus says: That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush. The very books you follow, and say are the only books, right in their very middle, themselves prove the resurrection. You haven’t even read what you claim to believe.

Brothers and sisters, take time to study scripture. Know what God says and what He promises. Life in Him is forever. In that, be alive in God and live forever.

Reflection for Back to Church Sunday

I am listening.
What should I say?

“The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD accepts my prayer.”

Did you ever wonder what the Word of God is all about? Scripture, the Bible, whatever term we use, what is its purpose, why should we read it, study it, reflect on it, or even act on it?

For many people, the bible might be something handed down from parents and grandparents, a cherished memento. For some it may have been a gift they received for their first communion, baptism, on their wedding day. Certainly, most people have access to a bible in their home, and even if they do not, it is easily accessed via the Internet, on your iPod or iPad.

It comes in handy. We tend to reach for that bible when an issue or problem confronts us, when we are not well or when someone we love is sick. We look for those words of comfort and guidance.

Some people really focus on scripture and use the bible as their guide for life. It becomes a procedure manual and a guide for everyday living. I need to go to the store – what does the bible have to say? I dropped my groceries, my car is making an odd noise, and my husband or wife isn’t talking to me — what does God have to say on the issue?

That is all well and good and has merit. Anytime someone picks up that bible God’s word goes to work in his or her life, but the Word is not really about us.

If God’s word, His revelation is not a revelation about our lives, what does it reveal?

Scripture is this – it is God’s revelation about Himself, His self-revelation. Everything in scripture points out something about God’s personality, His thoughts, His power, His mercy, His Fatherhood, and His love.

The single most important thread in God’s self-revelation is that He wants to live with us, in relationship with us. This is so important that He sent His only Son Jesus to break down the barrier of sin that separated us from God. He broke down that wall; He wiped away sin and the consequence of sin – death. He offered His life to accomplish this mission.

God wants to be in a relationship with us that much. We are that important to Him. Because of that He is with us every minute, listening to us. So when problems or issues confront us, and we reach for that bible, God opens Himself to us. He says, here I am, for you, for whatever you need, even if it is only comfort. This is who I AM. I am listening to you. Say or ask for anything because you are that important to me.