Digging in Deeper: Mark 10:10-12

“When they were in the house again, the disciples questioned him about this matter. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. Also, if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery against him.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes truth is hard. That’s something our culture today doesn’t much like to acknowledge. We want truth to be whatever we make of it. That’s certainly a more convenient approach. If we run up against a particular wall of reality that doesn’t fit with the narrative we are currently crafting for our lives, we simply turn in another direction, declaring that “our truth” means we can ignore that wall and keep doing what we want. Yet truth simply is. When Jesus was asked about marriage by some Pharisees looking for a bit of wiggle room to keep living how they pleased, He responded with truth. When the disciples later asked Him about it again, He stuck to His guns. What He had to say wasn’t comfortable; in fact, it was hard. Let’s talk about it just a bit more this morning.

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Morning Musing: Mark 10:5-9

“But Jesus told them, ‘He wrote this command for you because of the hardness of your hearts. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In many of the weddings I’ve done and attended over the years, a common feature of the ceremony was some sort of a symbolic unity ritual. Most often it has been a candle. Two candles are lit at the beginning of the service and during the affair, the bride and groom take up their candle and use them to simultaneously light a third. Sometimes it has been a sand ceremony. Here, two different colors of sand are poured from their respective vessels into a third resulting in a mixing of colors. One time the couple weaved a braid together into a cord of three strands. The point of these exercises is to signify the permanence of the relationship being formed. Why is this kind of thing included in so many wedding ceremonies, and how should we think about this in a day when divorce is common and marriage rates are falling? Let’s turn today and tomorrow to some words from Jesus that speak right to the heart of this issue and see what kind of clarity He brings to the matter for us.

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Digging in Deeper: Revelation 7:9-10

“After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In the summer between my junior and senior years of high school I got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend three weeks in Higashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan. It was an absolutely fantastic trip. It was made even better that I made the trip with a group of some of my closest friends at the time. Rather than staying in hotels, though, we all were assigned to a different family with whom we spent the bulk of our time. The total cultural immersion was a transformative experience. Our hosts were gracious far beyond what we could have imagined. They went out of their way to both make us comfortable, but also introduce us to the best their culture had to offer so that we could appreciate it more fully. It worked wonderfully. Traditional Japanese culture is beautiful. I got back home even more convinced of that than I was before I left. But during our time there, it was really nice to get together with our group members. There’s just something about relaxing in a culture with which you are familiar when you’ve been immersed in one with which you aren’t. I was reminded of this by a recent episode of Mixed-ish. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her…” (CSB – Read the chapter)

“Another review for you this morning and a verse we’ve talked about before. This time a television medical drama. Entries in that particular genre are a dime a dozen these days. Each new TV season brings multiple new premiers. Today’s focal feature premiered in the U.S. in 2017 and is copied from a Korean series of the same name that ran for one season in 2013. It is an import I’m glad we’re able to enjoy. It falls in the plot pattern of past shows like Doogie Howser, M.D. and House where the main characters is just a bit different from everyone else. In this one he’s not a child genius or a jerk, he’s autistic. Let’s talk this morning about The Good Doctor.

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Morning Musing: Proverbs 18:22

“A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

I don’t know about you, but yesterday was different for me. I didn’t do the normal things I do in the normal places or ways I do them. It wasn’t a bad day, and in fact it was a good day topped off by snuggling up with the two boys who are still willing to snuggle up with the third nearby watching the sequel to The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix (which I highly recommend). But it wasn’t normal. If it wasn’t a day rooted in gratitude, though, it wouldn’t have been a good day. Gratitude really does make a world of difference. I hope you’ve seen that this week. I hope more you’ve learned to practice it. At least, I hoped you’ve seen enough to encourage you to want to get started on it. Next week we’ll start something new and with the season of Advent in view like we did last year. As for today, here’s one more thing for which I’m thankful.

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