So some of you might know that my kids are pretty accident prone. They fall and get hurt and bump and scrape and swell. Such a thing happened a few weeks ago now, when my daughter was jumping around on one spot, lost her balance, and fell teeth first into the wooden frame of the boys’ bunk bed.
But of course.
So as you’d imagine, her lip swelled up. Like, a LOT. It was so bad that she was almost unrecognisable and my siblings freaked out when they saw a picture of her. She didn’t even want to look in the mirror at herself because she was sad that she “looked like a duck.”
Well, in hopes of making her feel better, I told her that when her mom and I were dating, she said that I looked like a duck (specifically a duck stuffy that was popular at the time because I had spiky hair a pouty lips), but she married me anyway! So looking like a duck isn’t so bad.
She smiled at the thought and I figured I did my dad thing and she felt better. She still didn’t look in the mirror though, and the swelling eventually went down after a couple of days. Well, another couple days passed and my wife saw her staring at our wedding photo on the wall. And our daughter looked at her and said, “daddy wasn’t a duck…”
She totally took that literally and completely missed what I was trying to say. Proud dad moment fail.
I think we sometimes take scripture literally when we aren’t supposed to as well. Sometimes we read something that seems so black and white that it’s hard not to take it literally, and truthfully it is just easier to do so. But the unfortunate byproduct of that is it might leave us with more questions than clarifications and more disillusionment than hope.
Resurrection is one of those things. The Sadducees wanted to trap Jesus with a hypothetical of a woman and her 7 husbands (not at the same time). They probably thought they were very cleaver in how nonsensical the resurrection could be when put beside the customs of the day. But Jesus’ answer doesn’t seem to clarify anything, but only make things more confusing.
But that is because Jesus isn’t taking the resurrection or the customs of the day literally. Rather, Jesus is highlighting for them what is really important, and that is relationship.
We see the importance of relationship with God in Job, we see the importance of relationship with each other in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian church, and we see the importance of relationship even in our own lives. And many of the stories we get from the bible are examples of the role relationships play in our community and world.
Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a physical resurrection and the whole concept is to be taken figuratively and not literally. But I am saying that my faith isn’t based on the realities and concept of resurrection, but more on the love and grace of God through Jesus Christ. So I don’t need to defend my faith against those who don’t believe, nor do I need to prove myself when others try to deceive me. Rather, I can focus and concentrate on fostering loving and caring relationships and be confident that by doing so, I am living out my faith to the best of my ability.
I have hope, my friends, that God will be seen and recognised by all people, allowing everyone to learn to live in peace and community for the sake of gospel of Christ.
Have a great week, everyone!