Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:2-9
Somewhere lost in the debate about gender identity and who is allowed to be married, is the heart of the matter of what God's desire is and what Jesus is really concerned about.
Is Jesus worrying here about two men being married or two women? Is he worried about someone who identifies as binary or trans?
OR, was Jesus concerned with how easy it was for one person in a marriage to be discarded - in his day: that person being the woman? And maybe even how easy it was for any person in any relationship to discard another?
I am a child of divorce. So is my brother and so are most of my cousins. So was one of my best friends growing up. So are several other people I know. So, I'm sure, are people you know. Or maybe you yourself.
I have also been divorced. As I'm sure many others you know have been as well. And again, maybe you yourself.
And in none of those cases am I suggesting that it was easy or that there wasn't a good reason for the divorce. Sometimes divorce really does need to happen for the sake of all involved.
But sometimes people ARE just discarded. Sometimes we do treat people like we do things we no longer have use for.
And honestly, that happens even in relationships outside of marriage. Friendships sometimes get discarded for reasons that maybe years later you can't recall.
God is a God of relationship, and the Kingdom - Kindom - of God that Jesus came to proclaim was also one of relationship. And relationships take work.
Sometimes relationships need to end. There are other places where Jesus indicates that yes, sometimes relationships do end.
But that isn't God's intent or desire. From the beginning of creation, the goal was relationship.
Holy One, help me to treasure all my relationships. Amen