“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” – James 4:7-12 (13-5:6) In the 4th chapter of the letter of St. James, our author continues his advice for living with a reminder of to whom we belong. Submission in this sense means that we are under the authority of our God and Father. He is our head, our commanding officer, our director and ruler of our hearts.
Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:9 The lessons today are from the Church’s core teaching about Holy Matrimony. We teach that Holy Matrimony is a sacrament, which is of course an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace. (BCP p.857) As with all Sacraments, there are the two components, the visible and the invisible, the physical and the spiritual.
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” The reading from Isaiah that we heard today was one of the Songs of the Suffering Servant. You might recognize some of the verses from the Stations of the Cross, that we walk during Lent. From the earliest days of Christianity, the believers have seen the prophecy of the passion of our Lord Jesus in this poem. The servant described herein is not what we in the modern world would call a hero. No one wants to suffer for the sins of others. No one wants to sacrifice their desires for the sake of others.