In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic.
Next Sunday we will celebrate the Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost. Here is this week’s reading from the gospel of Luke:
“And 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, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive."
Here is an excerpt from The Son of Laughter:
"Your god will doubtless care for you in death as generously,” the king said to Joseph as they stood in the darkness lit only by the guttering torches of the servants, "because you are the friend of the king and have been given the king's ring with his seal upon it and great power over all of the Black Land". Joseph thought of his mother's spent body buried, unbandaged, on the road they had been traveling with only a pillar no taller than a tall man to mark it and of the body of his grandfather Isaac lying under stones near the bodies of Abraham, Isaac's father, and Sarah, his mother, where Joseph's father and Esau had placed it with no treasure of any kind to bring him comfort and only the two ash cakes for food which Esau had placed under his two arms. His father had told him that he heard it said that the dead move like shadows. They dwell, thirsting for light, deeper than the feet of mountains in a land where no light falls. Did the Fear remember them there, Joseph wondered. Did the Fear have a silver boat for sailing them to blessedness, a golden boat like Ra?
"My god is a god of those who are alive," Joseph said to the king.
The chamber where they stood smelled of the cool stone and the burning pitch of the servants' torches.
"He makes us no promises about death," Joseph said. "He makes us promises about life. I do not know what he promises to the dead if he promises them anything.”