Mark 10:2-16 â€“ The 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time â€“ for October 7, 2012
â€œWhoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against herâ€¦â€ (Mark 10:10)
I am an adulterer and have been since 1984.
In 1979, California provided me with, to use a phrase from Markâ€™s Gospel, a â€œcertificate of dismissalâ€ from my then wife. The real trouble began five years later when I said I do to my beloved and became, for the second time, a married man.
Jesus said, â€œWhoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.â€ (Mark 10:10-12)
Not much wiggle room, eh?
Would you like to debate homosexuality, child labor, abortion or slavery? With those subjectsâ€”and other controversial issuesâ€”the abundant presence or stark absence of Biblical verses has and will continue to fuel faith-based debates.
For Christians, what is there to debate about divorce?
A few years after California legalized my adulterous behavior, I memorized Matthewâ€™s â€œSermon on the Mountâ€ for Easter. Most of my congregation way back then appreciated my efforts. It was likely the singular time when my quirks, doubts or opinions didnâ€™t â€œadulterateâ€ the sermon.
And yet I irked a few folks. One Easter visitor* jabbed his finger at my chest during the greeting line after worship. He growled, â€œAfter what you said about divorce, young man, Iâ€™ll never come to this church again. You should be ashamed of yourself.â€
By preaching the exact words of the â€œSermon on the Mount,â€ Iâ€™d highlighted two of Jesusâ€™ most irksome insights. Continue reading →