Saturday, October 06, 2012

B, Pentecost 19 Proper 22 – Mark 10:1-16 “Family of God”

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And Jesus left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them. And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away." And Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." (Mark 10:1–12 ESV)
Jesus gave up his home to take up the hand of his bride the church. Jesus makes his church holy, perfect, blameless and one flesh with him. Yet many in the body of the bride are divorcing themselves from Christ the head, unto whom all things are given. It seems man is separating what God has joined together.
As many who make the body that is the church, we all have a duty to see to it that we do not divorce ourselves from the source of our salvation. The honeymoon is definitely over and now we are down to the work of loving ourselves and each other as Christ has and continues to love us. Now being one with the Holy Son of God illuminates the not so pretty within us, yet Jesus considers us still worthy despite the weakness we bring to the matrimony.
This is why Jesus was born into your world. God the Son from eternity, creator with the Father and the Holy Spirit, gave up all his authority, and became weak. Not the weakness of a man without a wife, not the weakness of a woman without a husband, but the weakness of a child dependant on a mother and a father who both in themselves were vulnerable and weak.
If the church corporate can be seen as the bride of Christ, then individually we can be seen as children of God. Since Jesus became a child, weak and helpless, we too must view ourselves as weak and helpless, since he became like us. If we refuse to see ourselves in this way and be seen by others this way, Jesus Christ became nothing for nothing.
Yet he became nothing for you. He tasted death for everyone, so that by his sheer generosity and love we might come to trust we are being lifted up from our weakness by he who has been crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death and alienation from the Father so you might be lovingly received by God the Father.
In Psalm 8 we hear, "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger." (Psalm 8:1–2 ESV)
Here we are told that the Lord is our Lord. He is your Lord, he is your Father in Heaven. But he is just as much Lord over all the earth. Despite his majestic name evident everywhere, there are many occupants of the earth who do not realise he is Lord, and everything has been placed under him.
And so God the Father whose glory fills the heavens and the earth, put his glory amongst us as a weak baby. And from this baby born in a manger, from this son of a carpenter from the nowhere town of Nazareth, from the dusty crossroads of the ancient world, this child established strength.
This was not the strength as we might perceive, he had no real estate, he had nowhere to lay his head and sleep, he had no armed guards, those whom he called to keep watch fell asleep in the hours before his coronation as the King of bitter suffering and death. No! This is not the picture of strength we might imagine would still the enemy and the avenger!
And what of us his great church on earth, Christ's brothers and sisters, who as a whole are the body of Christ, the holy bride.
It seems we are quick to write out our certificate of divorce, voiding ourselves of the word of God. Turning our backs on Jesus Christ becoming whores to the desires of our hearts. Committing adultery within through coveting, and without though acts of greed, and in idolatry with absence of fear, even hatred of God and his will.
Daily deceived we turn so quickly to the princes of this world. But they are not the proprietors of peace they proclaim to be. How quickly these princes become pimps, their strength that lured you to love them becomes your slavery; deceived we become children of the enemy, of evil; sons of the devil, full of revenge, hatred, and death.
And yet Lord you still provide for us all our needs. You wait on us like a loving husband who faithfully waits for his wayward wife to turn off the red light of her heart's desire. To stop, return, repent, and seek forgiveness, which you so willingly intend to give.
Show us the weakness of our ways, may our kingdoms come crashing down, so we might receive your kingdom, your power, your glory like a little child and in our weakness live the life of trust, Jesus lived in the weakness of a human being, so we might be made one with you in the kingdom of your power, and your glory.
Jesus says, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. (Mark 10:14–16 ESV)
Father let us come to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Lay your hands on us, forgive us and bless us with the weakness of a child to trust in your almighty power. Amen