“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” – Luke 20:35-38
But while these concepts are intriguing, the verse also gives one guidance for our current life on earth as well. By stating that life in heaven will be entirely different Jesus is conversely implying that our lives and perspective here on earth are unique and will not be repeated again. The Sadducees provide an always reliable foil for him to illustrate that we need to focus our concerns and our energies on the here and now. He implies that God intends for us to do good works on Earth not to gain a certain status in heaven but because it is integral part of living on the earth with all its multiple opportunities to make it a little better place to live in. Concrete actions – improving the lives of those less fortunate, preserving the environment, and being a positive force for those close to you should all be the priority. Heaven will reveal its mysteries eventually but we still have work to do in the meantime!
Brett Perkison is a faithful parishioner at St. Stephen’s.