Homily for the seventh Sunday after Pentecost – A Sunday of marriages and divorces

Updated: Jun 16

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Good morning bus riders!


We’re now at the seventh Sunday after Pentecost. I hope everyone signed up for the email with the link to the Episcopal lectionary and read all the readings for today.


I talk about them all here, not just some. So, let’s get started!


This week the themes revolve around opposites. On one end is the celebration of marriage and union. On the other end is the pain and suffering of separation and rejection.


The first avoids the other.


Raise your hand if you are married.


<Look for raised hands.>


The institution of marriage has changed over the millennia. In our lifetimes, the concept has been reduced to meaning little more than a legal state of possession. It no longer is about the production of offspring.


The history of marriage goes all the way back to the creation story, when the elohim made man [males and females] in their image. The image of a god still needs the breath of life set into it, in order for dead matter to become animated. In that way the matter created by gods becomes married to a soul. Without that marriage there is no life on earth.


This means divorce is the separation of a soul and matter, when each goes its separate ways. So, marriage symbolizes life and divorce symbolizes death.


Does that make sense to everyone?


<Look for nodding heads.>


Last Sunday I talked about seeing the apparently simple reading from Second Samuel that told of David making his capital Jerusalem.


I said that place was inhabited by elohim, who acted as the protectors of the Promised Land. The place David took had been the where Melchizedek reigned as an eternal king, dating back to Abraham; and, there was a covenant made that forbid any Israelite from taking that fortress. I said Yahweh told David the time to break that covenant had come; so, David was divinely led to take that place and make it his city.


I had never seen that motivation before; but like I said last week, that was something that once seen it could not be unseen.


This week, following my having seen that aspect of Jebus as the protector of the Promised Land, as the place where the gate to Eden was guarded by Cherubim, I saw this reading of David bringing the ark into his city with newly opened eyes.


Because the only motivation David could have possibly had, in his taking of Jebus, was a command from Yahweh, this can be seen now in the oversight of “marriage” as the Father promising his daughter’s hand in marriage. As “of the earth,” Jebus was the body being given away.


The Ark of the Covenant was then the physical presence of Yahweh guarding the Holy Commandments that were the marriage vows between the souls of the Israelites and Yahweh. It was likewise constructed with Cherubim on the top, between whom Yahweh’s Spirit rested.


Because the ark reflects the masculine essence of Yahweh, that physical device becomes the bridegroom who was promised the hand of the daughter of Eden. Thus, the whole story of David having the ark moved from where it had remained for about fifty years becomes a marriage procession.


David wearing a linen ephod – a priestly robe – then reflects him being the officiant of the marriage. The sacrifice and sharing of food in the City of David reflects the wedding banquet or the reception. The ark being placed in the Tabernacle – the tent pitched by David – becomes the consummation of marriage tent, with the altar being the place of marriage.


Can you see the effect of that imagery becoming more than a story of David moving the Ark, just as David taking Jerusalem was more than first was seen? Can you now see it symbolizing a most divine marriage?


<Look for nodding heads.>


In this story, before the reception – which was not stated but certainly could have been planned to take place on one of the commanded holy days of remembrance – the story seems to take a left-hand turn, to Michal looking at David with contempt.


Michal was the wife of David, but she is identified as the “daughter of Saul.” Michal was in the city named after David, just as was the place prepared to receive the ark. Both reflected “daughters.” Both had been given away in marriage … twice.


Jebus, or Salem, had been given away to the descendants of Abraham. Then, it was given away to David’s Israel. Michal had been given away to David, after David met the challenge set before him by Saul. After the two were joined, Saul began a quest to kill David, forcing him to flee. While David was in hiding, Saul gave Michal away to another man. When Saul died and his son took over his kingdom, David made a truce with him that said he would not attack Israel, with one of the items of truce being Michal returned to him; and, that son-king agreed to those terms.


That says Michal had been a wife to another man, ripped apart from the man she had lived with for at least a decade, and forced to live with David beyond her desire.


In this regard, the moving of the ark into Jerusalem was an arranged marriage, determined by Yahweh and carried out by David. The marriage of Michal, both times, had likewise been arranged by her father.


The ark would never again be prominent in the history of Israel and Judah. Michal would complain to David about how he made a fool of himself dancing before the ark in public; and, she would never again be heard from in the history of Israel and Judah, bearing no heirs to the throne.


The symbolism in that, when the marriage theme is realized, reflects how each and every one of us sitting at this bus stop today is Michal, if any one of us thinks, “I am royalty. Being a servant to a husband is beneath my dignity.”


Michal is metaphor for the failure of a marriage. A marriage can only succeed when two are totally committed to one another, where the bond of that union is love. Not lovey-dovey human emotions, as they can never be kept on a high level of excitement; but divine love, which is a constant desire of loyalty and honor.


The failure of marriage is divorce.


Divorce can then be seen in the optional reading from Amos. The “plumb line and the wall” was the revelation that there was only way to remain upright; and, that was through marriage to Yahweh.


David was told to unite the ark and the gate to Eden, where the tree of life [eternal salvation of a soul] could be found. That union was done to symbolize the union of Israel and Judah, not under one king [as that ship had sunk with the end of Saul’s line], but under the required union of each Israelite's soul to Yahweh.


David sinned and left a flawed line of kings, none of which would be protected by an ark or Jebusite elohim who would call out for judges to come and save them from their waywardness. A flawed line was a wall that was not plumb, thus always destined to collapse.


The divorce came when Solomon died and his heir, Rehoboam, was rejected by the people of Samaria [a.k.a. Israel]. Amos was sent as a marriage counselor to tell the wayward Israelites, “Your way will lead to ruin.”


Amos was told to go away and prophesy to Judah.


That is the attitude of two divorcees: It is always more the fault of the other. Neither wants to be told he or she bears more responsibility than the other.


Judah was certainly equally to blame, because Yahweh would send one prophet after another to both nations, all telling them, “You are missing the point! Neither of you are anything more than the ‘other nations’ you sought to be like. Other nations go to hell, along with all their leaders and peoples. Only individuals whose souls have married Yahweh are saved from that fate.”


Amos told Amaziah, “Hey man, I live here in Judah, tending sheep and picking the fruit of sycamore trees. I’m just telling you what the Big Guy upstairs said to say to you.”


Now, in Psalm 24, David sang out a song that asked two questions in verse three: “Who can ascend the hill of the Lord?” and “Who can stand in his holy place?”


Those questions are asking, “Who will marry Yahweh?”


In the City of David, the steps of the “hill” led up Mount Zion to the place prepared for the ark. Outside that Tabernacle was the altar. Marriages take place at altars.


The question that asks “who can stand” wants to know who will become upright and good, by following a road of righteousness. That can only be done by never breaking any of the marriage vows. When one’s soul has married Yahweh, one becomes “his holy place.”


David wanted to build Yahweh a building of cedar for His presence, rather than keep Him under a tent. Solomon would build a Temple of stone and move the ark into it, making Yahweh seem to be forever imprisoned in that building.


The question David asked in his song says Yahweh desires a temple of flesh for His Covenant to be written in the walls of one’s heart.


A heart wall with the Covenant written on it is plumb and will never collapse.


In David’s Psalm 85, verse ten sings out: “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” This sings about the union of a soul with Yahweh’s Spirit.


One’s past sins have been forgiven. Truth comes through one being enabled to access the Mind of God. Knowing the truth leads one to obey and serve. One submits to a higher power, all with the kiss of eternal love.


It is a marriage made in heaven. It is wholly spiritual.


Now, for all the misguided ideas about what marriage is for human beings these days – when so many people seem to be confused about what their sex is, much less what level of commitment should be the expectation, the point made by Yahweh, through His commanding David to do the things he did – marrying the ark in Zion – says human marriage is irrelevant to a soul’s wellbeing beyond life in the flesh.


The purpose of marriage – in all cases, human and divine – is supposed to be to have children. A man and a woman join to make a baby. Marriage transforms a man and a woman into a husband and a wife. The baby they produce transforms a husband into a father and a wife into a mother.


Of course in today’s world, where everyone plays king, anyone saying what should be the case relative to marriage is reacted to like Amaziah told Amos to leave and tell that to someone else.


In Paul’s letter to the Christians of Ephesus, we read him saying, “He [Yahweh] destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”


In that, the word “Beloved” is capitalized, which means more than normal human love. It is elevated to mean divine love – God’s love.


In his letter, Paul was addressing those in Ephesus who had married their souls to Yahweh and become elohim like Paul – all were Saints in ministry for God. Thus, the word “destined” needs to be seen less in terms of Yahweh knowing those souls would marry him and more in terms that speaks after one commits to such a divine marriage.


It is then that a predetermination comes into play, as that marriage is expected to give birth to His Son. Since Paul could not give birth to a physical baby, and because no female saints could get physically pregnant from marrying God, the purpose of spiritual marriage is to have one specific child, which is “adoption as his children through Jesus.”


Because the soul of Jesus is that soul created as the Son of the Father, when that soul joins with the soul of a saint-apostle, the resurrection of Jesus makes the flesh his soul is born into become Yahweh’s Son reborn.


It is the presence of Jesus’ soul – possessing one’s soul as one Spirit – that all so adopted become Anointed by Yahweh, with the word for such a divine anointment being “Christ.”


This becomes the Trinity, which means each Apostle-Saint – male or female – is the marriage of a soul to Yahweh’s Spirit, allowing the soul of Jesus to be born again in the flesh. That is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in marriage to a soul in a body of flesh.


There is nothing external in this relationship, as the Trinity exists within each and every Apostle-Saint.


Christians get hung up in seeing Yahweh and Jesus as external influences, which each individual is expected to believe God and Christ are beyond one’s grasp. They talk a lot about such beliefs, but then also talk a lot about failing to live up to those beliefs. Christianity has become a bunch of sinners who ask God to forgive them of the sins they cannot stop from happening; and, then they thank Jesus for that forgiveness, as if they know God forgives every sin imaginable.


It is important to see that Michal is a reflection of that Christian mentality.


It is important to see that Amaziah and Jeroboam are reflections of that mentality.


It is important to see that Herod Antipas, his wife Herodias, and her daughter were all reflections of that mentality that pretends to be special and royal, looking down on anyone who would suggest Yahweh can be married to human beings and Jesus can be reborn in them.


While it might be harder to see the marriage theme in the Gospel reading from Mark, where it is difficult to not focus on the beheading of John the Baptist, that theme is there.


The reading is split into two parts. One speaks of the talk about Jesus and that talk leads to Herod saying, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” That set of verses speaks of the marriage that existed between both the souls of Jesus and John to Yahweh. The “adoption” of John as Yahweh’s wife made the soul of Jesus appear in his body of flesh.


Herod Antipas did not know Jesus; but he knew John. All that he heard spoken about Jesus was confirming the man he knew as John the Baptist. The same Spirit in John was in this man Jesus.


The second half of the reading is all about the divorce. For all Herod believed, such that he admitted John had eternal life, as seen by his being raised in Jesus, Herod [a weak excuse for being a Jew] refused to listen to John and commit his soul to Yahweh.


For all Herod’s fear of John, which reflects a Christian’s fear of Yahweh – they can’t even say that name without feeling Jewish – they look for every excuse under the sun to sin.


When the daughter of Herodias danced before Herod and his guests – on Herod's birthday – she was a reflection of Michal, before Michal became ‘a woman of the world.’ The daughter – whose name is Salome – should have been Herod’s property to give away in marriage, so any dancing should have been for a prospective husband.


She was the daughter of Herodias – another woman possessed by Herod – just like Michal was the daughter of Saul, rather than the wife of David. Both daughters were controlled by external influences, both refusing to see anyone worthy of sacrificing self-ego to in marriage.


All human souls must be seen in the light of being daughters. The material realm is the feminine. As feminine, it naturally receives. As newborns we all receive the breath of life – the ruach of Yahweh – which is our souls animating our flesh.


As daughters, regardless of human gender, all souls are asked to marry Yahweh and submit our egos to His Wil, becoming His wives, becoming His servants, becoming His Son reborn, as elohim.


That is not a decision made lightly.


To sacrifice one’s soul to God, one has to believe in God. By “belief” I mean “faith.” Belief can come from someone telling one about God; but faith comes from coming to know Yahweh personally.


Coming to know Yahweh comes from meeting someone who has married Yahweh – a Saint. Saints do not come announcing themselves as such. They come like Amos.


When Amos was told to go prophesy in Judah, he responded, “I don’t do this for a living! I raise sheep and trim trees here in Samaria! I’m just an ordinary guy!”


Someone like Amos wanders into one’s life and tells about things relative to Scripture that no one ever said before. They make sense to some; and, a few take it the extra step to try and prove the Saint was telling the truth. One does some research. One does some study. One comes to see for oneself the truth.


The truth leads to faith.


The stories told in the Holy Bible lead to belief. Exposing the truth contained in those stories leads to faith.


As a side story to the Salome-Herodias influence that became Herod’s excuse to do what he wanted to do, but was too afraid to do alone, is one I read a few years ago. I don’t know if it is true; but Herod Antipas was dethroned by the Roman emperor and sent into exile in Spain. Herodias and Salome went with him. During the winter a lake froze over. Salome went out onto the ice and the ice broke and she fell into the cold water. She screamed to her mother for help. By the time Herodias got to where Salome was, all she found was her head on top of the ice. She had been beheaded by a current under the ice pulling her neck against the sharp edge of the ice. Nature did to her what she had unnaturally caused to be done to John the Baptist.


Again, I do not know if that story is true. What needs to be seen from the beheading of John is Herod did that to himself. By ordering the head of a Saint cut off, his soul was rejecting marriage to Yahweh, so it was his own head he ordered severed.


The head is where the brain is. It is the head that is metaphor for the body of flesh being king over the soul (regardless of human gender). The bigger the head grows, the farther one drifts away from Yahweh. A soul controlled by a brain is more apt to end up married to a number of sins, addictions, and bad habits. One with Big Brain syndrome is like someone with many marriages, all failed, all ending in divorces.


Each failure is like one cutting off one’s own head, having to start all over again … trying to get it right.


A marriage to Yahweh means self-sacrifice, which means willingly cutting one’s own head off, so one can gain eternal life.


In that way, Herod could see how a beheaded John had risen as the man new to the scuttlebutt around Galilee – Jesus. John lost his head and gained heaven. Herod kept his head and then had Rome cut it off; but when Herod died, you can bet Yahweh cut Herod’s soul off from reincarnation.


With that, I think I see the bus coming. So, I’ll end on that happy note.


May everyone find the truth and see for yourselves how to find faith in Yahweh.


Till next Sunday.


Amen