Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Children of God
In our Gospel reading today a group of Sadducees have come to question Jesus about the resurrection. They are even noted as saying there is no resurrection, a belief that separates them from the rest of Judaism, who accept the resurrection. They open the discussion with Jesus by inquiring about a Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 25:5–10) that seems to call into question Jesus’ teaching of the resurrection. They ask, “In the resurrection . . . whose wife will the woman be? For the seven [brothers] had married her” (Luke 20:33).
For the Sadducees it is important that a son be born, for a man’s name to be carried on after his death, since for them this life is all that there is. Jesus tells them that they do not understand the age of the resurrection. In the resurrection we neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are all children of God, children of the resurrection. In the age to come, it is not our relationship to this world that is important, but our relationship to God. Even our understanding of life and death falls to suspicion in the age to come, for all are alive to God.
Our relationship to God is greater than marriage, family names, even death. It cannot be defined by the many ways in which we relate to one another other than being “children of God.” This relationship as God’s children tears down the fences that our individual human relationships create. We are no longer separated by those things we use to define ourselves: race, culture, class, gender. We are connected as one in the family of God.
The trick is to be alive now as the children of God, to live as one in the family of God.
Gregg Schafer, pastor, Newfoundland Moravian Church, Newfoundland, PA, and Canadensis Moravian Church, Canadensis, PA