Isn’t it interesting that when asked a question about divorce, Jesus replied by talking about God’s design for marriage? Asked the wrong question, He gave the right answer.
What do you think people in our community ask me to pray for most? More than health concerns or job opportunities, the overwhelming and often teary-eyed response when I ask to pray for them is for their struggling marriages. Relationships are where we overwhelmingly need the most help and where the enemy is wounding us most deeply.
Whether separated by geography, disagreements, or even death, being far away from family is tough. For those who leave everyone and everything for His sake, Jesus offers family “a hundredfold.” To experience this ourselves, we in the church must change how we think, how we speak, and how we act to be that family for one another.
For too many of us, “neighbor” is that nameless person who doesn’t cut his grass or plays her music too loud. Our interactions are limited to passing “hellos” or angrily airing our grievances, with little in-between. Jesus calls His followers to “love your neighbor as yourself”, so something has gone terribly wrong if the only time we interact is to complain!
“Is it a sin to feel fearful about being separated from our loved ones when we die?” As I replied to this thoughtful question in our summer study group, my seven-year old daughter’s small hand shot up to comment. Her innocent confidence in Jesus - much like the Apostle Paul’s cultivated over a lifetime of faith - demonstrated hope that was real.