Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 24:1–22; 1 Corinthians 1:26—2:16
"We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.” (The Sixth Commandment; Small Catechism)
Eve was God’s first gift to Adam. God had made her especially for him. Likewise, Adam was given to Eve. They were the perfect gift for each other. They were to each other, both a joy and a delight.
Marriage isn't God's only gift. God has established nations. He has built both Churches and Kingdoms. But, none of these things can compare with what He gave to Adam and to Eve first: a family.
The holy love and respect which adorn God's design for marriage set the family above all other things as being that which is beautiful, because of the love that is there. In marriage, we see a picture of the kind of love that God has for His Church. His love for her is such that He sees her again each day as the most beautiful of brides. The Church is His Bride, His Joy, His Life. Christ looks upon His Church as if she were the most beautiful bride coming down the aisle to meet Him on their wedding day. As Jesus looks upon His Church, there isn't anything that He would not do for her.
The design of Adam for Eve and of Eve for Adam was a wonderful design filled with His grace and blessings. Marriage would be kept holy and pure so long as everything worked to bring this husband and wife ever closer together.
Tragically, sin entered into the wedding picture. Adam sinned. Then He blamed Eve. The two were divided. Whatever brings a husband and wife to be one in harmony and love is good and right. That which drives them apart is adulterous. This sin thing was really horrible.
Thankfully, Jesus is not as Adam was. Even though the Church has not always been the most wonderful of wives to Jesus, He continues to love her and to give Himself for her. Jesus is the most giving of husbands. He did not blame His Bride, as Adam had done before Him. Instead, He took the blame for her sins.
In response, the only thing the Church can do is to receive His love. When we receive His love, that brings Jesus more honor than anything else we might do. It is not always easy to let someone do for us what we feel we should take care of ourselves. But with the love of Jesus, the best thing we can do is to let His love come to us. As His Bride, we are not beautiful because we always look good in the mirror. We are beautiful because of His great and perfect love for us.
The Rev. Carlton Hein, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Loveland, CO, is the author for this portion of the Trinity season.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.