Sermon Proper 27C                                                                                                The Rev. John M. Atkins

Gospel of Luke 20:27-38

27Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him 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. 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30then the second 31and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32Finally the woman also died. 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.” 34Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 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. 36Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 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. 38Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”

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Some of the deeply religious people of the day challenged Jesus.  They disagreed with his thinking.  They didn’t like what he was teaching and spreading.  They were determined to discredit Jesus so his influence would diminish.

But Jesus held to the promising words of the prophet, “God’s Spirit abides among you; do not fear” (Haggai 2:5b).

In our polarized world pitted with deep trenches of ridged opinions, we, too, must remember the prophet’s words.  Our mission has one focus – Jesus Christ, the expression of God’s undying love for the world.  Do not allow emotional rhetoric to distract us from engaging with Jesus.  We are to strive to love God and all people, as well as fighting for justice for those with little voice.