Sunday, November 10, 2013

Trouble and Testing

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus 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 anymore, 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."
Luke 20:27-38

I have spent the past few days with students in the Iona School for Ministry in the Diocese of Texas. These are all people who give up a weekend a month to study for the deaconate and priesthood. They will all be bi-vocational and will never be paid a salary for their ministry. This is a great community of learning, faith and support. They study, take tests and write papers under pressure, studying and being formed while doing many other things. There was peace and joy in the midst of great effort, trouble and testing.

Jesus was being tested by the religious leaders who did not believe in the resurrection. They were trying to make him look like a fool and to fail in front of his followers. In the middle of testing and trouble, Jesus turned their queries around and talked about the God of the living. He called us to understand the truth of God living among us and living beyond time and space. A God of love that is not captured by the trouble of our times, nor destroyed by testing. We are invited by God to cling tight to the one who lives beyond the tests and the trouble and WHO IS right here in the midst of ours.

Today I ask God to help me cling to the everlasting arms and let go of the trouble and turmoil that swirls around me. May we be made new this day for the life of the living, trusting that God stands with us in our tests and trials. God is always making rom in eternity for us.

The Collect

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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