Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 8; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16

“Gracious God, open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name.”

“Those whom God has joined, let no one put asunder.”

Today’s Gospel is a difficult one. It is one of those texts I wish the folks who put together the lectionary would leave out, as it requires careful unpacking and it is used to shame and condemn.

Let me just say this. Given the cultural context of Jesus’ day, the fact that he adds that women might divorce their husbands and that he immediately calls the little children to him, I am convinced that this teaching of Jesus is not about marriage and divorce, so much as it is about living in covenanted relationships and what that requires of us.

This teaching is about not being able to cut someone off and leave them without voice, without agency. Women who were divorced by their husbands, and the little children who gathered around Jesus at the disciples’ dismay -- they were the marginalized, the voiceless, the powerless.

And Jesus puts them front and center. He lifts them up. They are not to be ignored, cast off, disregarded. They are to be heard. Dare I say they are to be believed.

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