Saturday, June 18, 2016

What God has Joined, Let No One Separate

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.
Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” Matthew 19:1-12

We as a people in the United States have spent a week listening to pundits and politicians talking about the massacre in Orlando. The folks targeted were thought by the shooter to be an offense to God. Love is never an offence to God, for love is of God and none of us really understands love's power or unpredictability. It is the miracle of birthing, the miracle of healing, it is the miracle of death where we go on to the loving arms of our Creator.

Jesus is under fire again, seen as someone who might be offensive to God. The religious leaders could not see what love had created for the whole world. They wrapped themselves in argument rather than in love. We want to separate people, divide and conquer, rather than bring together. God invites us today to be those who encourage love and encourage folks being brought together.

As this day ends, here in Montana, preparing to be with the children at Grace Camp (a week for the children of the incarcerated) I am reminded how easily we separate people and divide families. May we be agents of love restored into this world.

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