Luke 20:27-38 (NRSV)
Verse 27Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him Verse 28and 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. Verse 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; Verse 30then the second Verse 31and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Verse 32Finally the woman also died. Verse 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her." Verse 34Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; Verse 35but 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. Verse 36Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. Verse 37And 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. Verse 38Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive."
“It’s sad, you see, that the Sadducees do not believe in eternal life.” So goes the limerick used to teach which of the Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day—Pharisees or Sadducees—argued about the resurrection of the dead. But Jesus turns the argument upside down by speaking the names of heroes of the faith recalled in the tradition, and then making the point: these saints and heroes of the faith do not live on because their names are remembered and spoken down through the centuries; they are alive and have life for all eternity because “God is a God not of the dead, but of the living; and to him all of them are alive.”
It is sad also today when there are those within our families, communities, and world who also struggle to believe. So it is part of our calling to continue to live in the ways of active justice, love, acceptance, welcome and peace, so that eternal and abundant life with God is made real for all.
God of the living, grant us the courage and confidence today to live out our lives in such a loving and accepting way that our words and deeds continue to bear witness to your eternal and transforming love and grace. Amen.