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The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, October 05, 2015

JESUS AND WOMEN AND DIVORCE

Sermon for Oct. 4, 2015

Genesis 2

Genesis is a story. It is not history or biology.

Imagine  an old Jewish man, may be a rabbi four or five thousand years ago. See him talking with a group of children. A kid raises his hand and asks, “Who made the animals?” The old man tells a story, Out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to the man to see. God brought them to the man and told the man to give them a name. That’s an eagle, that’s a canary, that’s a wolf, that’s a crocodile, that is a rabbit. So all the animals got their name.

Remember this is an ancient story. It is not anthropology, sociology or biology. This is story.

Today we have the blessing of the animals. St. Francis of Assissi, used to talk to he birds and loved and respected all the animals. Fr. Richard will bless any animals you brought to church today.

But there is more to the story. The children ask, “Where did mommy come from?” The old rabbi responds saying the man after naming the animals took a nap. You know what God did? He took a rib out of the man and made it into a woman like your mommy.

This story may satisfy young children and has down through the ages. Children today would question the story by the time they got to fourth grade.

We need to look more deeply into the story.

The story was told by a man. Woman was created third. Fist the man, then the animals and finally the woman. The story comes from a powerful patriarchal tradition. Men were seen as having power over women, women were second class citizens. Most of us see men and woman as equals. We see that women can do things men can do. Fight in the military, run major corporations and be doctors and lawyers. Women are still emerging. Growing stronger  in their rights for equal pay, status and recognition.

We can be proud that our Episcopal Church has women deacons, priests Bishops and even the Presiding Bishop. But when it comes to getting a job as a rector of a church. Most vestries still choose men over women.

Jesus was an advocate for women.

In the gospel story Jesus condemns divorce. “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.”

Jesus knew that if a man divorced his wife, she would be destitute, have no means of support and would likely be begging in the streets. A man could divorce his wife, but a woman could not divorce her husband. The man owned her, the money and the property. She and her children would have nothing.

Jesus wide compassion forbade divorce for men in his day because of its harrowing effect on women.

And that’s the way with Jesus. He is compassionate and calls on the world, each of us, all of us to that Christ like Compassion.

For the Hungry, Sick, homeless and immigrants in the United States and those fleeing Syria.








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