Monday, December 5, 2011

God of the Living

The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”

But 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, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. Matthew 22:23-33

The religious leaders were tussling with Jesus and trying to understand the afterlife. We all struggle with what becomes of us and those we love after we die. Jesus redirects the questions and points to God in the midst of the living and that the living - and the dead are not lost but part of a living continuum, or at least that is what I hear from him. So today, instead of my usual blog, since I am in meetings in New York, I offer the words to one of my favorite songs about death, dying and the grief we all bear as the living who have lost the ones we love.

Lyrics to God Is In The Roses
by Roseanne Cash

God is in the roses
the petals and the thorns
storms out on the oceans
the souls who will be born
and every drop of rain that falls
falls for those who mourn
God is in the roses
and the thorns

The sun is on the cemetery
leaves are on the stones
there never was a place on earth
that felt so much like home
we're falling like the velvet petals
we're bleeding and we're torn
but God is in the roses
and the thorns

I love you like a brother
a father and a son
it may not last forever
but it never will be done
my whole world fits inside the moment
I saw you be re-born
God is in the roses
and that day was filled with roses
God is in the roses
and the thorns

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