+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – Matthew 19:1-15 (NLT)
Discussion about Divorce and Marriage
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.
Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.
Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”
Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”
“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”
Jesus Blesses the Children
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
One man, One woman, One marriage, One lifetime!
“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied.
“They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’”
And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,
and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one,
let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
– Matthew19:4-6 –
Jesus’ teaching on marriage goes back to how God made human beings, i.e God’s intention for men and women at creation. The union of a man and woman is likened to a “gluing” or “welding” together for lifetime. The ‘one flesh’ in every marriage between a man and a woman is a reenactment of and testimony to the very structure of humanity as God created it.
Separation by divorce then is a violation of the natural order and amounts to rebellion against the God. Divorce constitutes a hardening of hearts toward God and one another.
Questions for consideration:
- Do you believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman? Please explain.
- In modern society, “marriage” between various combinations and genders are not uncommon. Are these truly marriages? Why/why not? Please explain.
- In modern society divorce and remarriage is common, even among believers. Why is this? Please explain.
- Do you believe couples should remain married for the children? Or is there something more involved? Please explain.
- How would you counsel friends or family members who are considering divorce? Please explain.
Morning Prayer: For Families –
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you set the solitary in families: We commend to your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and true godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy matrimony, have been made one flesh; turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be joined to one another with bonds of loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me” – CityAlight
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen