Sunday, October 04, 2009

Eighteenth Sunday

Today's Saying
One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again. ~Judith Viorst

Many of the liturgical churches celebrate today as the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost. In those using the Revised Common Lectionary the Gospel is Mark 10:2-16. If you read the text you will discover it contain two different topics. The first is on marriage and the second starting at verse 13 is on faith and children.
This morning I am going to write just about the first part.
One must be careful when one comes to the Bible not to read in answers to today’s questions that are not in that text.
Fir example some people use this text to prove gay marriage is wrong. But the text is not interested in gay marriage so It can’t be used to prove anything in that area either way.
A group of Pharisees came to test Jesus. They wanted to catch Him saying something wrong. They wanted something to use against Him. Sort of like a TV reporter trying to get a politician to say something they can use on the Evening News.
So they ask “ Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?
Now everybody knew the answer to that.
The men did because it favored them.
The women did because they suffered under it.
By this time the Law of Moses had been refined so that all a man had to do was say to his wife “ I divorce you” and he was divorced. She was out in the cold with no rights at all.
But they seemed to be hoping that this radical Jesus would have an unorthodox opinion.
Jesus asks them what Moses said. They tell Him that Moses said it was okay for men to divorce their wives.
Then Jesus did to them what people who like to quote Scripture out of context hate. He asked why did Moses do this.
Then he tells them it was because of their hardness of heart. It was not God’s intent that men should get divorced.
Then he quotes from Scripture before Moses and how God intended for neither women nor men to get divorced. But they were to become one entity blessed by God.
The problem for us now is that the kind of marriage which Jesus speaks of is becoming rarer and rarer.
Real marriage requires commitment.
Real marriage requires love.
Real marriage requires God’s blessing.
Real marriage requires an expectation of being together until death parts them.
People marry today:
With no expectations but the thrill of the moment.
With no love just the joy of sex.
Without even asking or looking for the blessing of God.
Because the spouse to be is so pretty or handsome.
Because they are pregnant and the family is leaning on them.
Because weddings are so beautiful and part of their dream.
I know this because over my ministry I performed hundreds of marriages.
I saw three types of couples enter into marriage.
1. People who were in love , wanted God’s blessings on it, and had great expectations for their life together. You could tell them by the way they looked at each other and they way they talked about marriage. All of those marriages are either still going strong or went strong until one died.
2. People who could grow into a real marriage. They had some love for each other. Some understanding of God’s purpose in their life and a willingness to try commitment. I saw some of those grow into wonderful marriages but I saw others collapse.
3. People who had no idea what marriage was all about. But they wanted to get married anyway. I tried, often to talk them out of it but I seldom succeeded. Most of those marriages failed.
By Jesus understanding of marriage only the first group and part of the second were really married.
The rest entered into pretend marriages with pretend divorces like Hollywood movie stars. They never really divorced because they never really married.
At the same time there are people who have entered into a real marriage without getting a licensee from the state.
We live in strange times.
We can draw from today’s text that God wants couples to become one. God wants commitment and love. God wants to bless their life together.
Almost anything else doesn’t fit the age in which we live.

Poor Tommy knew the battle was lost but didn't want to surrender. If he turned off his power that was the same as surrendering but that's what the voice wanted him to do. He looked at Herman but Herman didn't seem to hear the voice. He knew the voice. It said it could help. He needed help.
Finally he decided to trust it really was Oops.
He turned off the power.
He felt himself being shaken then he was sitting up not on the street but in his bed. His mother was shaking him.
" You had a bad nightmare" she said. " You put out some kind of shield that kept us out of the room as we tried to help you."
Tommy hoped it was only a nightmare and not a vision of things to come otherwise he had seen the end of Pigeon Falls. He couldn't understand how he had projected power without the rock which was in the desk drawer well out of his reach. Another mystery for him to solve later if they lived through this battle.
How many more nights of this before the real thing?

Today we add a little spice to the treasure chest. A full gram of pure Spanish Saffron. Saffron sells for $3000 a pound. A priceless addition to our chest.

And the name Betty drew yesterday is Akelamalu. If she draws it again today Akelamalu gets what is in the treasure chest.
We will announce the drawing right after it occurs.

Betty has come to the computer room and drawn
It wasn't Akelamalu
Sorry Akelamau

The name drawn today and that will win everything in the treasure chest tomorrow if it is drawn again is:




Congratulations Aims.
Why not stop by and wish her luck for tomorrow,



Blogger DawnTreader said...

That was probably the best sermon I've heard on that topic in a long time. We do live in strange times and in spite of all the "out of the box situations" it is not always easy to find the right "out of the box answers". Jesus was pretty good at that, though...

1:48 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

I loved your marriage sermon. Where were you when I was divorcing? I stayed marriage for 5 years after Michael and I separated because my pastor said to divorce was wrong. Then I moved and one day my new pastor said the same kind of things you were just saying, so I asked to speak with him in private. He said, as far as God was concerned, I probably never had a marriage in the first place. Then he explained that the piece of paper isn't for God, it's for the government.

2:26 AM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

When I married I hoped it would be for the right reasons and for life. Both of us lived life to the full, then. We lived a long way apart and from meeting to marriage, six months had passed during which time we'd been together for about a fortnight in snatched weekends.
Don't know what category that makes us. No one who knew us thought we stood a chance. It's our 33rd anniversary next year.

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An excellent marriage sermon, Dr. John. My parents were number 2. SuperDad and I are a 1 now -- I hope we were a 1 twenty-two years ago, but who is to truly understand? Only God.

I am terribly confused as to what happened to Tommy & time. ????

3:51 AM  
Blogger Dulçe ♥ said...

Wil this contest ever get anywhere? Will my name ever be picked? This is keeping me awake at nights!!!

Interesting post today: marriage. As I am divorced now I cannot speak much in favour of it... But I long for a love who becomes part of me for good or bad, in health and illness and all that... Where is he?
Don't know... (sniff)

4:24 AM  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Love your words on marriage.

But Pigeon Falls's dilemma was all Tommy's dream? Just like one whole season of Dallas was Pam Ewing's dream? Just like the whole Bob Newhart series with Mary Frann was Bob's dream in another whole Bob Newhart series with Suzanne Pleshette?

I am slightly disappointed. But I will keep reading. Maybe things are not what they seem.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

Couples are not patient anymore, for a yes or no they divorce. From the 7 couples we invited for the Mr. G's 50th, only two couples are still married, my friend and I ! It's also strange that couples now divorce after 30 or 35 years of marriage ! at least it is like this here in Belgium. Once the children are out of the house they have nothing in commun anymore.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

I love my marriage!
Love Di

5:55 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I love your quote today -- I stole it and put it on my Face Book - my kids and others in my family need to see it. (so did i...)

It was a great sermon today Pastor. It left me much to think about! I know I'm in it until "death do us part though"!

I'm SO glad Tommy woke up! Goodness, that dream had me scared! I can only imagine what it did to HIM!

6:00 AM  
Blogger Maude Lynn said...

I love your thoughts on marriage, Dr. John.

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well having never been married I can't speak much on the topic except to say I think marriage is work and you have to talk and listen. So
Tommy UK had a dream...hmmm that's good to know. Have a great Sunday and week ahead :) Aloha!!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

We celebrated 40 years this summer.

We believe, "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be."

May God Bless all marriages.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Melissa B. said...

I concur wholeheartedly! And I'll stop by to see AIMS this afternoon...thanks!

10:14 AM  
Blogger aims said...


Now I won't be able to sleep!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Alice Audrey said...

You surprised me.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Lou said...

I have been married 33 years, but I definitely fall into the 2nd category. I've never heard it put this way, but you are very insightful. I went into the marriage quite idealistic and selfish, I stayed a number of years for the kids, and then somewhere around 20 years I became deeply grateful I had such a true friend in my husband.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Nessa said...

Great take on marriage. My husband and I married late (we were both close to 40) because we knew we had not met anyone we could stay married to.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Jeni said...

Our Youth Ministry did the service at church yesterday and the girl who did the sermon spoke about marriage -and how fortunate she is that her parents are together and she's never had to endure the havoc divorce can create within the children of a marriage. Kind of had me wondering a bit though if perhaps she doesn't know her half-siblings from her Dad's first marriage -and the nieces and nephews she has because those kids were pretty well grown by the time this young lady came into the world. I mention that only because it happened that way and things were not always the rosy way she regards things.
Since I am divorced -have been divorced for 29 years now after 8 years of being married -it is a difficult position to be in with respect to the Church at times. Some of it depends on what church one belongs to and other times, it also depends on what take a particular minister might have about marriage, divorce, remarriage, etc. Frankly, I don't like divorce, being divorced, etc., but then too, I didn't like being in a marriage as an unequal partner, living with an alcoholic womanizer and having abuse heaped on me. If my ex had not filed for divorce, I probably would have endured those problems though in hopes that some way, some day, he might change his ways. But at the same time, the divorce was a big relief. But it has taken me a long time to regain a comfort zone, of sorts, within my church because of the stigma of being divorced, or perhaps, it is just something of my own private paranoia there too that made me feel inferior because of that event in my life.
I do believe though that too many people do rush into marriage without the foresight of the work that is involved in keeping it working, right and having a full commitment to each other from the very beginning.

9:33 AM  

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