October 7, 2018
Today’s gospel combines a saying that makes many of us uncomfortable with a story we find comforting. Jesus’ saying on divorce is another of his rejections of human legislation in favor of the original intent of God’s law. Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples who are fending off the children should challenge us as well. What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God as a child does?
Jesus’ offers two observations concerning marriage and Moses’ permitting divorce. First, God’s vision for humanity sees both oneness and harmony between male and female (husband and wife) as image of God. Second, humans always seem to find a way to put a wall between our hearts and God’s desires. Jesus calls that, in Greek, sklerocardia, hard-heartedness. We get our word, arteriosclerosis, from the same root word.
Not many believers I know would disagree with Jesus’ ideal vision of marriage. Likewise, not many believers I know would say we’ve found a sure cure for sklerocardia. We bring much the same hard-heartedness to most other insights about living in the Kingdom of God Jesus proclaimed. We still find it extremely hard to:
- love our enemies
- forgive one another
- be generous with our wealth
- do good to those who hurt us
- and on, and on.
At our 9:30 A.M., Sunday worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon and Meal, together, here, where the clear vision of God collides with the walls of our personal and collective sklerocardia, God offers us, again, our unearned place under God’s life-making, freedom-bringing, home-giving rule.