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 any more, 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.’
What pops out at you in this story? Is there anything that makes you go “hmm….” or “huh?” or “hey!!!!” Are you reminded of any other stories–whether in the Bible, in literature/movies/music/TV, or in your own life? As you read, do you hear any music in your head?
We sometimes talk about the “great cloud of witnesses” or the “communion of saints”–what do these terms mean to you? Have you ever felt yourself a part of the cloud of witnesses? Who is in your personal cloud of witnesses?
Jesus seems to say that “the resurrection” is not a sometime-in-the-future event, but instead that to God, “all of them are alive.” What do you think this might mean? How does it effect your understanding of God, of death, of resurrection, of life?
At the communion table we remember that we share this feast, the glimpse of God’s kingdom, with the whole communion of saints, with people across boundaries of time and geography. The communion ritual, the symbols and words and meaning, bind us together with people very different from us as well as people we love to sit next to in the pew. How might this text speak to this idea of communion?
What do you hear as the good news in these stories? What do you hear as a challenge? What might this story have to say to our community today?