As promised in yesterday’s sermon, you can read my 2015 sermon that focused on divorce by clicking here. Yesterday we heard a sermon on most of the same verses, but the focus was more on the joining than the dividing. It’s not that all concern about divorce ended in 2015, but that Jesus seems to address the concern about divorce by raising the seriousness with which he takes the joining. Both are serious, of course. I’ve never discussed marriage with anyone who divorced casually. No, everyone I’ve talked with who has divorced has acknowledged the painful toll that it took on everyone involved.
Marriage can also cause pain, but when the right effort, attention, and intention is part of marriages, they can also bring tremendous joy and fulfillment. I’ve begun telling pre-marital couples that they should approach their marriage with every bit, if not more, of the preparation, tenacity, planning, effort, energy, and eagerness that they put into succeeding at their careers. They should do the same as parents, if they become those, too. We need not take for granted the gift of having people to love or short-change the commitment that we make to love and to cherish another. There is no better long-term investment than to invest in one’s closest relationships.
And, as I tried to illustrate yesterday, Jesus’ love and concern for his church may well have inspired him to use the unity of marriage as illustrative about how he wants the church to grow faithfully living together. God doesn’t just join married couples. God also joins the Body of Christ and, as those joined together, we are called to strengthen, not tear apart, our connectivity.