Sunday October 3

Gospel of Mark 10:2-16

Anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.

Some Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.’ Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

Jesus answers the legalistic leaders with a teaching from the story of Creation. He teaches that we are all made in the image of God.

Our loving God and creative God. 

We are designed from the beginning of life to be one body. No wonder divorce and division is painful.

It seems important to note that in the very next section of this Gospel, Jesus teaches how we can be touched by the love of God.

He explains that I must become vulnerable and innocent like a little child in order to be able to receive this love.

Surely this is the tenderness we must embody in order to attend to broken hearts in our world and especially by a church that hopes to animate the unity and love of our creative God.

I pray for all those who have suffered broken hearts and dreams, that together as one body, we may attend to each other with a gentle loving touch.