Includes Sermon Audio
20th Sunday after Pentecost
Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. Mark 10:15
Job 1:1; 2:1-10
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
Collect of the day.
Loving God, you have made us in your own image, creating a male and female, and you have consecrated the covenant of marriage so that in it is signified the spiritual marriage between Christ and his church: pour your grace upon all who are called to this holy state, that, keeping their promise of faithfulness to each other, they may reflect in their lives, your love for us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A thought to ponder upon – Mark 10:2-16
Scribes once again, Jesus pharisaic opponents, seeking to test Jesus with a question: this time confirming the legality of divorce. They hope to expose him as an opponent of the law of Moses. An explanation about the certificate of divorce can be found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4.
Jesus emphasised that marriage, as a permanent relationship between a man and a woman, goes back to God’s purpose at the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:27; 2:24; Exodus 20:14). Moses regulation on divorce were not part of God’s original plan, but were instituted because of our hardness of heart.
Jesus shows that divorce is not what God intended and when it is allowed. It is permitted only on very specific grounds (such as sexual immorality as stated in Matthew 19:9) but never required. Divorce and remarriage on the grounds of sexual immorality a not prohibited and dust do not constitute adultery. This is the one exception Jesus makes to the requirement that marriage be lifelong, for sexual immorality has already harmed the “one flesh” union spoken of in Matthew 19:5.
The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches on marriage after the gospel reading.