The Gospel According to Tammy

Our little boy is four years old and quite a little man
So we spell out the words we don’t want him to understand
Like T-O-Y or maybe S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E;
But the words we’re hiding from him now
Tear the heart right out of me.
Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final today.

Thank you for that song, Tammy Wynette. Jesus could have used it.

Today’s gospel recounts what must have been a pretty annoying day in Jesus’ life. First he had to deal with the Pharises and their stupid questions again. They must have still been peeved about his smack-down about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, so they thought they’d catch him with a question about divorce. After all, what would a single young Jewish boy know about such a thing?

“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

“What God has united, human beings must not divide.”

Another smack-down. But that answer wasn’t good enough for Jesus’ own disciples, who were already on Jesus’ last nerve from last week’s gospel when John tries to warn him about what he fears is a Jesus wannabe casting out demons in his name. This time they weren’t satisfied with the great comeback he gave about divorce being out and they wanted more details. So after he gives them the same treatment he gave the Pharises, the disciples double down on the irritation by keeping kids away from him so he wouldn’t be bothered. They should have known how much Jesus loved children. In last week’s gospel he said anyone who would try to corrupt one of them would be better off dead. So again he reprimands 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.”

I said it before in these blogs and I’ll say it again: We must find a way to regain the simplicity of childhood. The reasons many couples divorce are rooted in getting caught up in life’s complexities. Money trouble…adultery…lies…substance abuse. These all boil down to selfishness. Whether that self is the husband, the wife or both, what God joined together as a whole gets ripped in two again.

After a day surrounded by so much negativity, even from his own crew, Jesus needed a fix of the divine purity of children. That resource was more abundant in his day. It’s a rare commodity today when half of marriages end in divorce and children are left vulnerable to so many more corrupting forces. Today these forces are able to invade more families because they are unchallenged by an equally potent and unified parental force-field. And innocence is shed tear by tear.

Watch him smile, he thinks it Christmas
Or his 5th Birthay;
And he thinks C-U-S-O-T-D-Y spells fun or play.
I spell out all the hurtin’ words
And turn my head when I speak
‘Cause I can’t spell away this hurt
That’s drippin’ down my cheek.

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