Morning Musing: Genesis 2:23-24

“And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Let me ask a loaded question: Did you marry your soulmate? Depending on your circumstances, you may have a whole variety of answers to that question. If you’re a newlywed (or a nearly -wed), you are probably going to fire off an immediate, “Absolutely!” in response. If you marriage is really, really good, you might also say yes. If you have experienced the pain of divorce or are in a marriage that is on rocky ground, you may not be quite so quick to agree. Let me change the question up just a bit: Do you even believe in the idea that each one of us has a soulmate? Again, maybe you do, maybe you don’t. It’s hard to deny the popularity of the idea in pop culture. What got me thinking about this today is a Hallmark movie I recently watched with my bride. If there is anywhere the concept of a soulmate is part of the foundation of an organization, it is in Hallmark’s film division. Sometimes, though, things slip through the cracks. Let’s talk about one of those times and what it looks like to have a healthier view of marriage than Hallmark offers.

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Digging in Deeper: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things that has always made Americans different from the rest of the world is our fierce spirit of individualism. This has long been one of the identifying hallmarks of our culture, and in our own myths and mythologies, one of the virtues we celebrate above all others. Just think through our most popular heroes and the stories we tell about them. They all include some element of someone going on a long journey or overcoming some great challenge all on their own. While nearly the entire rest of the world is much more community-minded, we try and do things by ourselves. A Netflix show we have been watching now for three seasons puts this on display while at the same time offering a reminder that doing life alone isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Let’s talk this morning about the hit series, Virgin River.

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Digging in Deeper: 1 John 4:9-10

“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

All throughout this season of Advent we have been talking about its virtues. We started out with hope. Advent is nothing if not an injection of hope into our lives. From there came peace. When hope comes into our heart, peace is going to be the result. Then followed joy. Hope and peace together will give us the confidence in our God to lay hold of that incorrigible contentment that makes up the foundation of real joy. But right at the heart of the season is another virtue. This one Paul identified as the greatest of them all. What is it? Love. This week, as we prepare to land with both feet on the day itself, we are going to be talking about love.

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 2:24

“This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

The recipe for a good romantic comedy is that two people fall in love. But then what? Used to be, the “then what” was a hint that they were going to get married. Used to be, though, isn’t all that common anymore. Nowadays, the love stories end with a kiss and a promise of…well…love. But is that enough?

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Digging in Deeper: John 21:17

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’  Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever told someone you love them?  I suspect you have.  I suspect you’ve even meant it.  But, how deeply did you mean it?  Were they merely sincere words, or was there more behind them?  Were they primarily emotional words, or was there a conviction that ran deeper?  Saying, “I love you,” is easy.  Loving someone is entirely more difficult. Read the rest…