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When a woman loves a man

by davesandel on September 8th, 2021

Wednesday, September 8, 2021                                 (today’s lectionary)

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

When a woman loves a man

Perhaps it’s just me, but I keep hearing Christian guys introducing their wives, “This is my lovely wife …” They are usually first to speak, and often it’s a little hard for them to give up the floor to their lovely wife, so she can have her turn. Anyway, for me at least, that phrase is getting old.

The Lord will send forth from Bethlehem one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from ancient times. She who is to give birth will bear this ruler.

Not only does my wife bear our children, but she also cracks our eggs into the skillet and often makes our meals. In Proverbs 31 she is not called “lovely.” She is called “noble,” she who “considers a field and buys it, and plants a vineyard from her earnings.” She leads with compassion, “opening her arms to the poor and extending her hands to the needy.” We recognize her wisdom, her strength, her dignity, and “her children arise and call her blessed.”

This ruler will stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, his God. And his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth. He Shall Be Peace.

At our Houseboat guys-night-out-gathering last night, the forty or fifty guys were there without their wives. I’m sure those wives benefit from the fellowship we get with each other, because every time I go I’m kind of amazed at how free the guys are from either cynicism or platitudes about women and sex and love (although I have to admit they might sometimes say something about their “lovely wife”).

When humans are human with each other, life happens. Men do life with men, women do life with women, and then there is the way of Mars and Venus doing life together. Not the same.

Brothers and sisters, we know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Margaret and I spent a lot of time together at the hospital in June and July, while she was having heart surgery and then recovering from it. Many of the guys last night talked about their grandmas and sometimes their wives, sick with pneumonia or covid, and you could hear the love and fear in their voices. One young man and his wife, married, pregnant, not Christians, went together with his wife to have an abortion. Of course this was very hard for him to share. And how is that God lives in our midst while our wife has lung cancer, when our almost-adult children fight against everything reasonable, when we can’t seem to stop fighting?

Though I trusted in your mercy, let my heart rejoice in your salvation. With delight I rejoice in the Lord. Let me sing of the Lord, “He has been good to me.”

When someone dies, someone else is born. When I create my own foolish anger, God shows up with joy in the morning, if only I can accept it. Even though we can’t reciprocate, still God pours his whole self into every one of us. He (She) has nothing better to do, and never has, in the whole ever-loving history of humanity.

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”

(Malachi 5, Romans 8, Psalm 13, Matthew 1)

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