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Speaking to the Soul: Paul’s Second Husband

Speaking to the Soul: Paul’s Second Husband

Week of 4 Lent, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

 

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 89:1-18 (morning) // 89:19-52 (evening)

Jeremiah 16:10-21

Romans 7:1-12

John 6:1-15

In today’s second reading, Paul uses an analogy to explain how he and his fellow Christians should relate to Jewish law. Basically, Christians are like widows: Although once bound by marriage vows, widows are now released from those legally-binding contracts. Paul explains, “In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law . . . so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.”

In other words, Paul invites us to think of Christ as our second husband after widowhood. Many circumstances that once bound us no longer apply, and we live now “not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.” Some of us may indeed experience Christ as something like a second husband–as the possibility of life after loss, of love after hurt.

It’s a bit ironic that Paul uses the strictures of marriage law in order to illustrate his point that we are the law’s widows, freed now for marriage to Christ, and not adulteresses seeking another partner. Ultimately, Christ invites us into new patterns of faithfulness and fruitfulness, grounded in his love. No matter what our marital status, Christ is striving now to establish loving and lasting relationships with us and among us. Remember that we are always free to respond.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps  program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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