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Reading the Bible Day 245

Hello friends! Today we come towards a conclusion of Jesus teaching's according to Matthew before shifting into the passion narrative tomorrow. You might be surprised how few "lessons" Matthew puts into his Gospel, primarily focusing on the beatitudes as the most important lessons Jesus taught. This makes sense though, as Matthew's primary purpose was to reach his audience (post-exilic Jews living under Roman occupation) that the Messiah had come. The Messiah was to be a healer to a broken people and to fulfill the law and the prophets. Therefore, Matthew spends more time instructing hte people to have more faith, and cites examples of how Jesus is fulfilling (and expanding) the law (beatitudes), and fulfilling the promises of the prophets. What part of Jesus' ministry according to Matthew's ministry was meaningful to you?


Scripture to Read

Matthew 19 - 20

Psalm 90


Audio Bible


Questions to Consider

  1. What does this teach you about Jesus?

  2. How do you process Jesus teaching on divorce?

  3. What, if anything, feels applicable to today? What does it challenge you to do in response?

- My Thoughts -

The teaching on divorce from Jesus has been the source of many really problematic church teachings that forces spouses to to remain in unhealthy relationships lest they damn themselves to hell away from God's love. I've worked with a number of individuals who work themselves to tears as they discuss how they want to find a healthier situation but their faith says they cannot. One of the stipulations for people that want to be ordained is they cannot be ordained if they have a divorce and remarried, they must remain celibate because of this very scripture passage. While I cannot speak for Jesus or what he really meant by this I really struggle to believe that God wants to people live without love of another peer just because they were in a bad space.

So, while I am not a *real* fancy magical ordained pastor I will speak with the voice of the clergy here and say this loud and clear. God loves you no matter what. No. Matter. What. If you are in an unhealthy relationship you are free to find peace. If you left an unhealthy relationship to find peace and you carry that burden give yourself the permission to be free of that burden. When we get married we make a covenant with our spouses and say a sacred vow. If our spouse fail to keep up their end of the vow, they have broken the covenant, and thus the marriage has been nullified even before it you decide to make it legally over.

You were made by love to experience love and I hope you find that to be true each day you awake and each night before you sleep.


Praying the Hymns

Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 245 - The First Noel. A classic and beloved hymn that I hope you brings you the joy of Christmas in these warm spring days.

This does not have all of the lyrics in the hymnal so only the verses found in the video are listed.

Refrain: Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

1 The first Noel the angel did say was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; in fields where they lay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Refrain: Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

2 They looked up and saw a star shining in the east, beyond them far; and to the earth it gave great light, and so it continued both day and night. (Refrain)

4 This star drew nigh to the northwest, o'er Bethlehem it took its rest; and there it did both stop and stay, right over the place where Jesus lay. [Refrain]

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