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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 1, 2005

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 1, 2005 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our new book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2005
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of May 1, 2005

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our new book
      of daily devotions, "Living as the Beloved:
      One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra
      Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Divorce and remarriage

      Jesus said, "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces
      his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
      But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife,
      except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to
      commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced
      woman commits adultery."
      Matthew 5: 31-32

      Divorce is deeply wounding to people of all sexual
      orientations. Perhaps we can find grace, hope, and
      mercy through this teaching of Jesus. We can learn
      from our mistakes and life experiences. We can heal
      through counseling and time. Be gentle with yourself
      because a loveless or abusive marriage is always
      tragic.

      What is the relevance of this teaching by Jesus?
      After all, first century marriages had very little
      to do with love. Women were considered property and
      the men had all the legal advantages. In ancient
      Jewish relationships, only the men could decide to
      get a divorce. During Jesus' time both prevailing
      viewpoints of divorce were based on Moses' prior
      teachings. Moses assumed divorce was part of life
      (Deuteronomy 22:13-21; 24:1-4). His patriarchal view
      assumed the woman is always at fault. It is well for
      us to note that "God hates divorce" (Malachi 2:16),
      but divorce has been happening for thousands of years.

      F. F. Bruce makes an important point in his book "The
      Hard Sayings of Jesus." Old Testament divorce was to
      a man's advantage. Women were not allowed any choice
      in the matter. They could be divorced if their husband
      found someone more attractive or who was a better cook.
      Jesus taught about divorce (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9;
      Luke 16:18; Mark 10:2-12), and did not endorse the
      traditional anti-women viewpoints of his day.

      Even today many people of faith struggle to understand
      what Jesus really meant. Unfortunate people trapped
      in loveless marriages have agonized over literal and
      simplistic interpretations of these divorce statements.
      Others have remarried without a second thought. Then
      there are individuals who opt for the celibate life
      after a bitter divorce. Yet another point of view
      argues that these divorce teachings are only applicable
      to heterosexual couples who are allowed legal marriages.

      Whatever your situation and circumstances, let mutual
      respect, healing, and God's grace be evident in your
      intimate relationships. Work hard at nurturing your
      relationship and strive to honor your commitment vows.
      Many relationships are worth salvaging if both people
      in the relationship are willing to try and to work
      things out. But sometimes even with the best of
      intentions and effort, divorce is unavoidable and
      the relationship is clearly over. Strive to be
      amicable whenever possible. Seek counseling before
      remarriage and learn what went wrong in former
      relationships. Then humbly ask for God's blessing
      on your new life. Commit yourself to your new life
      partner daily above all others. Pray for your new
      relationship and ask for God's help one day at a time.
      Remember, to love and be loved are life's richest
      blessings.

      God, many of us have been divorced and remarried.
      Or perhaps the love has gone out of our holy unions
      or marriages. Give us grace and mercy as we reflect
      on this hard saying of Jesus. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/product_details/BookRevLivingAsTheBeloved.htm

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