Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Friday, October 05, 2012

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Jesus reiterates that divorce was not a result of God's divine blessing and command, but rather was a result of the "hard hearts" and sinfulness of the Israelites, a tragic option in our broken world. Not merely a simple legal dissolution of a relationship, the repercussions of divorce run far deeper than just societal approval/disapproval. It delves not only into the spiritual realm, but also impacts issues of justice.

In Jesus' day, a man who opted to divorce his wife was essentially abandoning her. Jesus calls the men to maintain their marital responsibilities and not simply cast aside their wives. While the tragedy of divorce in some instances may be the best option for all involved, it is still the result of terrible human brokenness and sin.

Merciful Lord, in your divine wisdom you gave us each other with the greatest intentions of love and commitment. As sinful humans, we have trampled upon the beauty of that gift, harmed one another, and twisted what was once pure and good. Help all those who struggle in the midst of broken or abusive relationships. Comfort them with the knowledge that your will is not for suffering and heartache, but love and restoration. Amen.

Rebecca Craig
First Lutheran Church, Kearney, Neb.
Master of Divinity , 2008

Mark 10:2-16 (NRSV)

2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

3 He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"

4 They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her."

5 But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you.

6 "But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'

7 "'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,

8 "and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

9 "Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."

10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.

11 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;

12 "and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.

14 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.

15 "Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."

16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alumnus from the graduating class of 2008.