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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 3, 2006

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 3, 2006 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2006
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 3, 2006


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
      devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
      Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Heaven and marriage

      "The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying
      there is no resurrection; and they asked him a
      question, saying, 'Teacher, Moses said, "If a man
      dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow,
      and raise up children for his brother." Now there
      were seven brothers among us; the first married,
      and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother.
      The second did the same, so also the third, down to
      the seventh. Last of all, the woman herself died.
      In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven
      will she be? For all of them had married her.'
      Jesus answered them, 'You are wrong, because you
      know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.
      For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are
      given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
      And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you
      not read what was said to you by God, "I am the
      God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
      Jacob?" He is God not of the dead, but of the
      living.' And when the crowd heard it, they were
      astounded at his teaching."
      Matthew 22:23-33

      The Sadducees challenge Jesus by telling a
      hypothetical story of a bereaved woman who
      survived seven husbands. They wanted to know
      if there was a resurrection of the dead, like
      Jesus taught, whose wife would the woman be who
      had been passed on to so many brothers? As odd
      as their custom might seem to us, they did not
      have a social security system to assist widows
      and provide bereavement benefits. When husbands
      died, widows were handed down to the next
      surviving brother of the deceased in marriage.
      The brother was mandated by the law of Moses
      to marry his brother's widow and procreate
      children if the widow was childless. The
      purpose of this law was to continue the family
      line and protect the vulnerable widow in a
      patriarchal society. If the widows were not
      protected in this way, they would either starve
      or be forced to survive through prostitution.
      As the children grew, they would be able to
      care for their aged mother.

      However, Jesus understood the Sadducees had a
      hidden agenda in their questioning. This was
      a test. With a few words, Jesus thoughtfully
      reinterpreted Levitical law (Deuteronomy 25:5-6)
      and offered a revolutionary new understanding of
      life after death. Traditional marriage was for
      this world only.

      Marriage and traditional family values are often
      in public debate these days as growing numbers of
      same-sex couples around the world seek public
      recognition and legal protections equivalent to
      those of heterosexual couples. But back in the
      time of Jesus, there was no such public dialogue
      about what makes a family. Whatever our sexual
      orientation and however we define marriage, we
      would do well to remember that in the next world,
      the institution of marriage will not exist as we
      know it. According to Jesus, we will be like
      angels in heaven. There is life after death.

      The ancient crowd was astonished by his answer.
      Even today, this is impossible to fully understand.
      But what I understand is this there is hope of a
      resurrection for all of us. It is a living hope
      through a living God. The grave is not the end
      but the beginning of something beyond our human
      comprehension. Someday we will find ourselves
      singing with the angels. So as death approaches,
      have no fear. We will dwell in the presence of
      God forever and it will be glorious.

      God, this teaching of Jesus is difficult to
      understand. Bless our comprehension and comfort
      those who live in hope of resurrection. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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