Mark 12:23

At the resurrection whose wife will she be, all seven brothers having had her as their wife?”


once a designation of property
is made and instituted
within our little cultural universe
it can’t be returned to its chest

set loose to cast a mirage
over family clan community
it rises to national sovereignty
possession becomes paramount

this kind can only be cast out
by a wilderness prayer retreat
long enough to learn enough
and be bound by release


Now the question based on the story of Seven Brothers and One Bride—whose property will the still unnamed woman be at the time graves are opened and the dead are reanimated?

How can this preposterous set-up ever come ’round right, transforming dominion to delight?

If we stick with the premise of the story there is no reason that any one of the brothers has any more of an advantage in the mystery of any life after death than they had while they had their faculties clustered about them.

Although it is not legitimate to make quite such a big linguistic deal out of it, the action involved in resurrection is “rising up”. This brings to mind both a folk song magazine, “Rise Up Singing”, and the importance of uprising in the midst of occupation and oppression. Occupation and oppression are mechanisms of death; uprising is new life in the midst of the old.

An appropriate uprising to this question is to bypass it, not engage it directly. This dismissal of a false premise is an important step on the way to any journey to rising up with a song in your heart and letting it loose into a dark night.

In a modern day of romance the emphasis of marriage is upon personal feelings and decisions. In older days, as well as the abominable Quiverfull movement of today, arranged marriage, even in childhood, were all the rage. This goes beyond a marriage made in heaven or men’s minds and ends up in legalism and fate. The decision made by my older brother seals my fate. No wonder I easily and quickly die when so entrapped.

To find a way to move beyond any current tradition is to find a key to responding to a false question with a larger response. This needed response is a wilderness response to a temptation to be right.

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