Old Testament: Exodus 7:8-24
Morning Psalms: Psalms 119:145-176
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6
Gospel: Mark 10:1-16
Evening Psalms: Psalms 128, 129, 130
Five years ago, my wife and I were married in a wonderful ceremony at St. Matthew’s Church. However, it was not the first marriage for either of us. When my first marriage was clearly not working out, I struggled with this Gospel, especially with Verses 11 and 12. I recall sitting in church on a Sunday morning, not knowing what to do -- and the topic of the sermon was divorce. The seminarian who delivered the sermon was struggling with the question of how God feels about divorce in our society; he essentially said that God doesn’t like divorce, but that He understands. His heart breaks for us, but His grace can help overcome the pain and the “hardness of heart” that is inevitably present with divorce. God’s grace helped me move forward and take some time to heal. Eventually, He led me to a wonderful woman who became my wife in that ceremony five years ago, surrounded by family and friends, and clearly in His presence.
While the first part of today’s Gospel is a tough read, the second part about receiving the kingdom of God “like a little child” is a wonderful analogy. Many of you may recall that five years ago, at St. Matthew’s, we were ramping up a building program. We wanted to expand our church building —and eventually we did. The “making space to share” program resulted in our larger parish hall and more classrooms. And on Sunday mornings, we seem to have more people, especially more children! They are so full of joy and wonder. They are a blessing.
Dear Lord, please bless the children and all the people in our community and throughout the world. Help us come into your kingdom “like a little child,” full of joy. Please give us the grace to soften our hearts, to heal old wounds, and to live a life of knowing and sharing your love. Amen.