“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. ~Matthew 5:27-32 (ESV)
Throughout the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is describing kingdom living and loving which so often is summed up with Jesus command:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and
with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” ~Luke 10:27 (ESV)
St. Augustine’s prayer from long ago gives us a glimpse of how to love with all our hearts:
Give to me, O Lord God, a watchful heart
which not capricious through
can lure away from you.
Give to me a noble heart
which no unworthy desires can debase.
Give to me a resolute heart,
which no evil intention can divert.
Give to me a stalwart heart,
which no tribulation can over come.
Give to me a temperate heart,
which no violent passion can enslave.
When lust, adultery and divorce are prevalent in our lives and in our relationships, we become isolated from God’s love. We become separated from ourselves, our God, our friends and our family. But the Son of the living God graciously invites us to love others well with these words:
Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that he lay down His life for his friends. ~John 15:12-13 (ESV)
May a greater love like Christ’s flow freely from our hearts…Amen and amen.