Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pentecost 19 - Proper 22

Merciful Father, Your patience and loving-kindness toward us have no end. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may always think and do those things that are pleasing in Your sight.

Today is LWML Sunday. What does LWML stand for? It simply stands for the Lutheran Woman’s Missionary League. This organization is recognized as one of the two official auxiliary arms of our Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Along with the Lutheran Layman’s League, the LWML dedicates itself totally to the mission spirit of our Savior Jesus Christ.

LWML is a “League” a recognize service organization within our national church-body. It is organized as a “Missions” endeavor. It is “Lutheran” in doctrine and ideology. But the LWML is a “Woman’s” movement within our church. It is a society within our church, which is centered on women; Christian women, doing the work of the Lord. How fitting it is then, that on this LWML Sunday the appointed Old Testament reading would give emphasis on the role that women play in the life of the church.

Certainly, these are fitting words for our women to hear but what about the men? This morning’s theme - “The Divine Design For Women”, does this imply that these words do not apply to men? On the contrary, these words apply to all of us; to women but also to the men.

Our Lord Himself said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” The cause God to create a woman. No amount of vegetation and no number of animals could be a satisfactory companion to a human. Woman was made for man, and it’s normal and right for men and women, male and female to be together as companions and friends.  In a word, it is called, a family.

It is significant that Eve was neither an isolated nor an independent creation. Eve was formed out of Adam by the use of a rib. Male and female are not two separate creations, each going his/her own way they were not made to be independent of each other.

Eve was made from Adam to indicate that they were of the same material and were meant for each other. And why the rib? Why not the head or the foot? Is it not true that the rib is the closest thing to the heart?  Husbands, God has created your wife to be your life partner. She is your confidant. You are fortunate and blessed to have her in your life. She’s the best thing that ever happened to you. You’re fortunate to have her in your life. So don’t get annoyed when she reminds you of this fact, every day.

As we have entered now the second decade of the 21st Century, and on this LWML Sunday our text answers a pertinent question for us to consider. As husbands and wife, as mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – what is the role of women in the world today? God has a divine design for women, especially within the framework of the family.

First, she is man’s companion. “Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone I will make him a helper fit for him.” -V.18 The Lord speaking tells us plainly – it is not good for the man to be alone. To that end He created for Adam a companion; his wife Eve. In marriage, a man and woman share the joys, the sorrows, the disappointments as well as the accomplishments of life. Consider the vows, which we speak to each other in the marriage service.  “…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy will.” LSB pg. 276 A man wrapped up in himself makes a small package. To help us grow and to create not merely harmony but rather to make symphony woman was created to be the companion for man.

She is also man’s assistant. Together the husband and wife, the man and the woman make up a partnership. They are a team. Together in a spirit of unity, they live their lives as one. In this partnership, there are no competitors, but together they work for a common goal. In this regard, the most important thing a man can know is that, as he approaches his own door someone on the other side is listening for the sound of his footsteps.

When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man the very angels leave heaven, come, and sit in that house. For it is God who joins us together in marriage and as He so loved us and forgave us so He has taught us to love each other.

God’s divine design for a woman is that she is a component part of the male/female union. “The man said, this is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they become one flesh.”

In marriage, two become one. In marriage, we witness a new creation; two independent parts become a brand new one. It is God who does this. The Savior, the maker of marriage knits two hearts into one. It is a miracle, which He has performed for our joy, and happiness as Luther summed it all up, “We are all made for marriage, as our bodies show and as the Scriptures state.” All this is a gift from God.

It is important to know that this passage does not teach nor does it even hint or imply that woman is neither inferior nor subordinate to the male. In truth, God has made us each male and female to complement each other. He has created us as such to give us the best in this life. After He created Eve, the Father was finished with His work of creation. At the end of every day, God concluded that His work was “good”. But when He had joined Adam and Eve together He said it was, ‘very good,’ ‘very good indeed!’ Together as husbands and wives, may Christ enter our homes and pronounce such a benediction on each of us. 

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