Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Day 24
Mark 10:1-12 (NRSV)
"Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder."
This is a phrase that I've said at all the weddings where I've officiated. The phrase is from today's reading with the word "asunder" from the King James Version.
It refers to the finality of the marriage covenant.
As we read this passage, it seems that Jesus is declaring some pretty tough words concerning divorce especially in light of the fact that everyone is related to someone who is divorced.
|This 21st century law office reminds us|
of when this phrase was closer to reality for all.
I'll try to go with the latter.
As we look at this passage, we might remind ourselves of the plight of women in Jesus' day. The husband was clearly in charge and the wife did not have the same rights and privileges. In fact, if a woman was divorced, her options were few and not very pleasing.
Similar to the passage on children, the teaching of the unbreakable bonds of marriage would be a gift for women who at the time were counted among the least of these.
Some of the rabbinical leaders of that day would actually thank God in their prayers that they were not made women. If this is the pervasive philosophy, you can see where the prohibition against divorce would benefit those on the margins.
So if Jesus is once again siding with the voiceless, we might ask ourselves what we might do to help out those who are hurting.
This being said, I would never want to take a flippant attitude toward the marriage covenant, especially where children are concerned. Divorce is one of the most painful things that a person might experience in this life and I pray that you may never have to go through it. If you have already or are going through one now, I also ask for God's peace for your life.
All of us, whether single or married, need to build up our integrity and to let our word be our contract. In this may we find the happiness and joy of the Lord.
Hear our prayers, O Lord, and consider our desires. Give to us true humility, a meek and quiet spirit, a loving and friendly, a holy and a useful manner of life; bearing the burdens of our neighbors, denying ourselves, and studying to benefit others, and to please you in all things.
Grant us to be righteous in performing promises, loving to our relatives, careful of our charges; to be gentle and easy to be entreated, slow to anger, and readily prepared for every good work. Amen.
Prayer by Jeremy Taylor, Church of England, 17th Century
Picture by By mandiberg (divorce for men only...) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons