Hello Friends –
Sometimes I feel like if I tell you what the sermon text is for Sunday you won’t come to worship – LOL! Maybe I should explain…
For example, Jesus has been on kind of a roll lately, letting the disciples have it in the Gospel of Mark.
A couple weeks ago Jesus described to the 12 for the second time that he’s on his way to suffering, death on a cross, and resurrection, but it flew right over their heads. Next thing you know Jesus is trying to straighten them out because they’re arguing over who’s the greatest among them. He’s talking humble king, they’re debating pecking order. Seriously, people? Yep, that really happened.
Last week Jesus resorted to hyperbole: if you cause a vulnerable person to stumble in faith, it’d be better if you tied an automobile-size rock around your neck and jumped in a lake (= drowned, died). Or, if you’re just going around stumbling in your faith, it’s better to chop off whatever is tripping you up – your hand, foot, whatever – than to head straight to hell. (Yes, sometimes Jesus tries to scare the hell out of the disciples).
And then we get to this week’s text – Mark 10:2-16 – where the Pharisees ask Jesus about d-i-v-o-r-c-e.
Is there any other subject that people have felt more hurt, more judged, by the church than divorce? Maybe you have been divorced. Or, your parents divorced when you were young. (Mine did…before I was born…but they got married again…to each other…and had three more kids, including me. Crazy story, I know.)
And I’ll be honest with you, at first hearing Jesus sounds a little cranky in these verses. I don’t know, maybe it’s because he’s aware that, as the text says, the Pharisees were trying “to test him.” They were messing with him, trying to back him into a corner. They knew their question, “Is divorce lawful?”, did not have an easy answer, and Jesus would hopefully offend someone.
But does it help if I tell you that if we really pay closer attention to this passage, and the larger context, it could be titled something like “the good news if you’re divorced?”
You may think that’s a stretch…but I think it’s true, with not an ounce of hyperbole on my part.
So, I invite you to join us for worship this Sunday, whether you’re married, or single, or divorced, or remarried, or straight or gay…to meet Jesus and hear some good news.
I love you guys!
Grace and peace,