Those are not demands we make on each other. They are gifts we offer each other. And with a true gift there is no holding back. It’s all or nothing. If there is a measure of your marriage, it is love, and the only measure of love is love without measure (St. Augustine).
So you must always keep your ears and heart open to the urging and wooing of each other. It just might be the urging and wooing of God. Because if “God is love” (1 John 4:8) then the wooing of love is the wooing of God. Continue reading The Beautiful Risk – A Wedding Sermon
The collect and readings for today, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 22B, may be found here. The following sermon is based on Mark 10:2-16.
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” Divorce is a question that affects all of us. Some of us have dealt with it in our own lives and marriages. Some of us have known the pain of our parents’ or child’s divorce. All of us, I suspect, know someone who is divorced or has been affected by divorce. It is a reality of our lives and our world. Sometimes divorce is necessary. Other times it comes too quickly and too easily, an escape from the hard work of being in relationship. Always, it is a spiritual and emotional tragedy with profound and lasting consequences for all involved.
The Pharisees’ question, however, is not a pastoral question. It is a legal question, a test. Marriage in first century Palestine was an arrangement between families not a choice between individuals. It was more about an exchange of property, the woman, than it was about romance, mutuality, or personal fulfillment. In asking their question the Pharisees are not concerned about a woman in an abusive or dangerous situation. They aren’t asking about a young couple who through illusion, immaturity, or naiveté made a mistake in choosing to marry. They are not dealing with a marriage that has become spiritually dead, not only devoid of but destructive of life. They are not worried about the spiritual or emotional well being of the couple. Their concern is Jesus. They have been plotting “how they might destroy him” (Mark 3:6) ever since Continue reading “A Soft Heart Heals the Divorces of our Lives”