This morning's message delivered by Pastor Gavin Retzer tackled the tough topic of divorce as it is referred to by our Savior's words in His "Sermon On The Mount." This is a subject that we rarely talk about from the pulpit simply because in this world in which we live it has a tendency to make people uncomfortable. Falling on the heels of the "Service Of Holy Matrimony" I performed on Friday, it gave me many thoughts to consider as I prepared a brief message for the small gathering of family and friends this past week. You see, I knew much of the content of Sunday's sermon, and I've been through the ordeal of divorce, personally, several times. These days I rarely run across people of my age group that have not had their lives touched by the agonizing events that accompany divorce. It is contrary to God's desire for us as people, and at the same time, often unavoidable. Many accept it as a "just the way things are in our world today" precept. I suppose we all could, and there are times when there is no alternative but divorce, but there is also the reconciling of love found in our Savior who taught us to "hate" the sin, but not the "sinner." Even in our small community here in South Dakota if we had one church where only divorced individuals attended(assuming of course that no other gathering would have them)it would be by far the largest in the county, maybe even the state! The statistics show that for every two marriages entered into this year in our nation, one will end in divorce!
Look at it from the perspective of good, better, best for a moment. It is good when a man and a woman are in love and wish to share their lives. It is better when they choose to seek God's blessing(and the laws of the state)and become one in the eyes of all. It is best when they make it all the way to the completion of their vows(until death are parted). I don't believe any two people should go into marriage looking down the road toward divorce(watch out for the prenup attitude, though). I don't give advice to people, I do spend some time with those who are actively seeking answers. Assisting individuals to work them out in keeping with God's will and the freedom to choose, which is a right sometimes not fully understood, can be a reward in and of itself. There are some values which we need in our lives if we are to live in the fullness of the grace God provides, for everything else there is forgiveness!
In Christ's Love, Preacher.