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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 10:1-12 bible study (May 20, 2024)

May 20, 2024: Monday Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 10:1-12

May the Love of God bless your day today.

This study this afternoon, came because under Doctor’s direction I started a new blood pressure med. My reaction to it seems to be a common allergy reaction of a really stuffy nose, and it knocked me out while I had my feet elevated. So far that is the only problem it seems to present. Please continue prayers for the homeless in this time of growing heat. And please remember to pray for the victims of cancer, Kandice, Jeff, and Heidi, and I am certain you probably know in your own life others for whom you should also be praying.

Today's reading from the Gospel of Mark is one we have heard many times before, as we in the Church try to wade through the personal dilemma of divorce and separation between married people. Jesus faced a real crisis in His time about this issue. First of all, the religious authorities were trying to catch Jesus in teaching that Mosaic Law could be breached in some way, and indeed He did that, but not in the way that we all might expect. Jesus turned to a more stringent interpretation of the consequences of divorce in a person's relationship with God. By the time that Jesus is on the scene in Galilee and in the south in Jerusalem, the ease with which a man could divorce his wife had become as simple as any complaint he might have about his wife, could be, and was, his reason for writing a writ of divorce from her. Originally the primary reason would have been unchastity. But by the time that Jesus was on the scene, a divorce writ could have been done just because a man had found someone younger, or with prettier eyes, or a woman who was a better cook, or did the laundry to the man's satisfaction. Or perhaps his current wife was too argumentative. This may have happened in the Jewish culture due to the influences of the Greeks who had greatly devalued the importance of marriage, or of one's commitment to a married relationship. This had all filtered into Israel when the Romans conquered the Jews, and introduced this kind of thinking into their communities, and that found its way into their religious thinking. The biggest issue here is the dismissal of the wife into poverty and her inability to hold a job, except to become a woman of the streets, a prostitute, if she had no male family to willingly see to her welfare. Jesus enters into this question by telling God asigious leaders that this all happened, and even Moses' thinking on the issue of divorce, and writing a simple writ, was given to him by God as a way of dealing with the lack of commitment that the Hebrews were offering to their wives. Jesus wanted people to know what a great issue divorce was with God, and that looking for reasons that would be acceptable to God was serious business, not just some stupid reason for such a radical action to be taken. I know that in our culture divorce is common. We may all have situations like this in our families and friends. People who have been married for multiple decades are becoming rarer all of the time. Today, like in the Israel of Christ's time, divorce is all too common. We must admit that it is all too common in our culture, but we must know that our God loves us through every crisis of our personal relationships, through Christ forgiving us for this tragedy in relationships that are important to God, and for us to know that the very worst thing about a divorce is the anger that we feel, and the willingness to dismiss and leave our divorced partner without resources and support. That is the usual sin of divorce. Our loving God want us to take this relationship between partners very seriously, as serious as it is for Him. The promise that we have made at our marriage to mutually care for one another must not be dismissed. Married before God in the Church we make promises to one another and to our God who loves us. Either of those promises broken, place us in a difficult circumstance of sin that requires confession, repentance, and penance before God. Divorce is a great tragedy for the people who must endure it becoming a part of their lives, but there is no brokenness for which Christ did not die, and His Holy forgiveness enters into this circumstance just as it does in any other when those who have divorced receive Christ's forgiveness. It becomes a tabla rosa before the Lord. In our relationship with Christ that damage it has done is gone! However, without fully receiving Christ forgiveness people often continue their suffering and anger and fail to start fresh and new with our Savior!

I know this is a difficult passage to deal with. But God through Christ, by the power of the Spirit takes that journey with us, and when we are willing, fills it with His Grace.

With Love in Christ, Pastor Kim

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