theunfamiliarname

Homily for Ordinary Sunday 32C

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 8:34 pm

“I know that my Redeemer lives”.
Those are wonderful, powerful, much loved words.

They’re taken as words of comfort and faith,
when they’re actually quite different.
These are not the lovely calm words of someone
sailing along in, enjoying their existence,
they’re the words of someone hanging on for dear life
when all around him seems to be chaos and darkness.

They are only seen as Easter words by a people yet to be.
When they are written,
they’re about Good Friday and how to keep on going.

Job, who’s had it all and lost it through death and disaster,
says to God,
“I know you’re there, and I want all this explained to me.”
Job is looking for his day in court
to have the shape of his life justified.

Now that’s not where the story ends.
But it’s through precisely that struggle that Job keeps going.

That’s a long way removed from the Sadducees
and their theoretical repeated widowing,
an attempt to catch Jesus out
on some hypothetical interpretation of the Law.

Jesus obviously rebuts their fickle what-if story,
and concludes with something
we probably don’t hear clearly enough,
because it almost sounds as if
he’s playing the Sadducees’ point-scoring game.
Almost, but not quite.

“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, & the God of Jacob.
Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living;
for to him all of them are alive.”

To God, all are alive.

Those words are extraordinary.
They are at the heart of our faith, and not only about
our Easters, but about our Good Fridays.

When we know darkness and death,
God not only proclaims light and life,
but makes it real in himself.
That is the profound truth and metaphor of the Resurrection.
That is our hope and our heaven,
for today and tomorrow.
We celebrated All Souls’ last Sunday evening,
and we gathered with our grief,
some of it smooth & well-worn,  some of it raw & fresh.

But we gathered, and we do so today,
in the faith that to God, all are alive.
If we are faithless, God keeps faith,
if we should stumble, God upholds us.

When we know death,
our own or one dear to us, I believe
the separation and sense of loss we fear
is not the ultimate truth.
God, the one and only truth,
the absolute and eternal life
knows in his eternity
our unique and precious life.

So let us not live fearing death.
Not seeking it, certainly,
but not fearing it.
Rather, this week, and every week we draw breath,
let us live fully,
aware that what we do in Christ’s name
echoes and is alive into eternity.

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