Up until Thursday last week, I hoped that I would find a way to avoid preaching about marriage and divorce. Frankly, as one with a "first husband" but who is herself a "second wife," this isn't a topic that gives me joy to enter into. But by Friday it was clear to me that there was no other "safe harbor" of preaching fodder that I could anchor in. Wrote a sermon tackling divorce, marriage, sin, Pharisees, little children. (I'll post it separately)
Then at the very early start of our Adult Class today a member asked if we couldn't talk about what is happening in the ELCA. My mind flitted around quickly and I saw that the same teaching of Jesus about divorce for the hardness of human hearts may have application to the current strugglings in the ELCA. We are indeed the very Body of Christ, one flesh. Some may think that the image of the Church as the Body of Christ is a simile -- the Church is "like" the Body of Christ. And two people married are "like" one flesh.
I rather think that two people married to each other are, in ways that we do not understand, actually one flesh. And the parting of these two people is a ripping apart of flesh that causes pain and anguish and should be done very cautiously and only when it is necessary, and there are times when it is necessary but often these times are less frequent than would initially appear.
And the members of the Church as the Body of Christ are, in ways that I do not understand, organically connected to each other. There may be a time where one of these members must rip apart from the other. But this ripping must be done cautiously and only when absolutely necessary.
I wish that I were a theological expert in these things....
But then again, I am very glad that I am not.