The Sadducees question Jesus about resurrection in today's Gospel selection from Mark. Jesus tells them plainly, and quite bluntly, that they are wrong. The Sadducees considered themselves the guardians of the law, the strict constructionists, so to speak. And Jesus tells them that they are trying to put God in a box, Scripture in a tidy little box, making both clear and understandable and simple. God and Scripture are none of those things.
In Holy Women, Holy Men today, we remember Clement of Alexandria, a 2nd Century theologian, thought to be a "liberal" because of his fight against Gnosticism, and his belief in non-literal interpretation of Scripture. Gnostics, generally speaking, believed there was secret knowledge about God and Jesus, available only to a few. Clement pointed out that they were seeking salvation from the world, while Jesus and Scripture is all about salvation of the world. Two very different theological constructs. The gnostics could be considered the Sadducees of their day.
Where are we falling into gnostic believes, seeking salvation from, as opposed to of the world? In this season of Advent, where we are seeking a quiet place in our heart for the love coming into the world in the form of a babe in a manger, where are we being too literal? Where do we need to be more open in our hearts, minds and souls, allowing that unfathomable love a place to enter?
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.