...20:34 Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage;
20:35 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. 20:36 Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.
Initially, I say: I've never resounded with this story...I have a living spouse and my parents are (thank God) still alive. So I'd tell you, if you asked, that I'm not worried about things like this.
However, the truth will out.
I recognize actually, that I have a nice little story made up in my head about what's going on with those who've gone before me. And there are certainly those people in my life. It's not so much about what they are doing all day every day, or how they look, or who they are married to, but how they feel about me. I'll say things like, "well, he's not mad about that anymore, he's in a place where he understands more."
Really? Maybe he's not even thinking about me. In fact, I really hope that he's not. What a hellacious afterlife, to sit around thinking about Mary Beth Butler and a bunch of other people. Gah.
In this story, I've made Heaven in my own image: It's all about me! And I'm not even there! It's a Disney Land place, like in the map above.
I love CS Lewis' account in The Great Divorce, where those who can accept the new life and world (heaven) by letting go of the old one, are in joy and bliss. Those who cannot let go of the old, miserable and angry, get back on the bus for the in between world. Those who are thinking about people in the past world would certainly qualify as bus-sitters.
I don't feel a big need to figure out the next life, or whatever we should call that thing that God has planned for us. This is why I am not a theologian. But, like so many things in life, this scripture points me back to my actions, my words, my deeds: that which I can control, that which is my business. The people I am called to help. The rest is a smoke screen that I (like the Sadducees) set up to avoid thinking about working on my side of the street.
(Edward Hopper: Prospect Street, Gloucester)