Aloha Friday Message – October 5, 2018 – Consecrated by God

1840AFC100518 – Consecrated by God to God For God

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   Genesis 2:21-25 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man*, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman** and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.
* אּישׁ (ish) {eesh} – man, husband
** נָשִׁים (ishshah) {ish-shaw’} – woman, wife

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika‘i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Beloved!) Today’s topic arises from the reading for this coming Sunday. In the past several weeks we have been surrounded by a conflagration of accusations and counter-accusations about sexuality and interpersonal relations. Much harm has been done on both sides of the current issue; however even greater harm as been done through millennia of abuse, neglect, confusion, and failure to honor the aegis of God’s commands at the moment when Eve first approached Adam. In the passage above, we have a description of how God brought about this marvelous duality of beings. Eve was created from the flesh and bone of Adam. You might call it mythology, but I call it  Common Sense. Here’s why:

God had created animals out of the clay even as Adam was created. When God saw that none of those were suitable for a companion and helpmeet for the man, he took part of the man and made of that a partner for him. Adam liked the change! He took one look at Eve and said, “at last!” I have a suitable companion. That joy in seeing Eve was a blessing for God. It made God happy to see Adam happy, and I dare say Eve was happy to see Adam as well. She was, quite literally, “made for him.” Talk about love at first sight! But, as we well know, later those two came to a rough patch in the road. Maybe it had something to do with the quality of materials used to create them?

Man comes from dirt, and – as I have often said here – that pretty well defines his character – dirt. Woman comes from dirt that had been improved by making it a living being; woman was created from the flesh of the man. Woman, it could be said, was created from better ingredients, not just dirt, but improved dirt. Borrowing from Papa John Pizza a little – “Better Ingredients. Better People.” Men – who come from dirt, remember – have a hard time accepting that “first” is not directly-equal to “better.” I am reminded of “The Diaries of Adam and Eve” as translated by Mark Twain:

Adam: Dear Diary. This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about. I don’t like this: I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals. (To himself) Cloudy today, wind in the east, think we shall have rain. We? Where did I get that word? I remember now, the other creature uses it.

When a married couple learns that the pronoun “WE” is the appropriate pronoun for a couple, that is when God is also praised, because that is when God’s intentions for Man and Woman come together. They are “one flesh” and – in many ways it seems – also one soul if everything is working well. I cordially invite you to look back with me to February 14, 2011 for a special message about how that works for Crucita and me!

I remember a Radio Preacher’s sermon on the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs. One statement he made struck me as particularly and elegantly insightful. He said, “There is nothing in this world more beautiful than a virtuous woman serving the Lord.” I thought about all the difficulties women have endured for millennia because they were deemed lesser in every way because of their gender. You know what I have often said about women: Naturally they are not the lesser; they are certainly deserving of all equitable consideration and treatment. In fact, I argue that women are the better part of humanity. Man was made from dirt. Woman was made from flesh and bone. Better ingredients, better people. OK, so I probably sound a little flippant (and redundant) there, but I say that to illustrate that indeed there is little in this world that can outshine the Light one sees in a life lived with virtue and valor. And that applies to both men and women, boys and girls, saints and sinners. We are being led by Satan to ignore the Light and embrace the Darkness. Note I said “led.” We DO NOT have to follow his lead or dance to his tune!

Adam and Eve were Consecrated by God to God For God. We don’t hear the word “consecrate” very often so it’s useful to take a closer look at it:

CONSECRATED: Dedicated to a sacred purpose; to devote irrevocably to God by a solemn ceremony; to devote to a purpose with or as if with deep solemnity or dedication;

God created man for God, not as God, but for God. God created Woman for man and only for man – not for woman, not for beast, not for abuse or neglect – for man; and in and with man, Woman is created for God.  They are consecrated by God to God for God and for each other. Sin has corrupted that Consecration, but sin has not eliminated that Consecration. Earthlings have tried mightily for all of recorded time to get around the idea (and ideal) of that Consecration, and they’ve made quite a mess of Life because of those efforts, BUT we have not eliminated the holiness of being created to serve God together as one flesh – as one entity if you will. In our sinful stubbornness, we’ve tried thousands of ways to wiggle out of that – everything from divorce to prostitution to domestic violence gender confusion to character assassination. All of those things are wrong because they contravene the Holy Consecration of Man and Woman to God. We have made prodigious efforts to essentially slap God in the face for daring to create us as complementary, harmonizing, paired beings. We have demanded that God “stay out of our business” so we can redefine his Gift of Consecration according to our own poor judgment. What foolishness that is! (See Isaiah 45:9 and Romans 9:21) Throughout our history we have contrived to make society primarily patriarchal – with a few exceptions of matriarchal structuring. Whichever we choose, we have nearly always forgotten that leadership is not ownership. (Please reread Ephesians 5:22-33 as a reminder of how God intends Matrimony to be lived.)

Matrimony is another word we hear only in certain contexts – for example in the Catholic Church, the Sacrament which unites the lives of two baptized adults is called Matrimony. This word is worth a closer look, too. Matrimony derives from an Old French word, matrimoignie. The word stem for this term is a Latin word matrimonium. There is a root form matr- which is from the Latin for mother – “mater.” In the word “matrimony,” the stem matr- is followed by the suffix mony (think acrimony, parsimony, alimony, ceremony, hegemony, etc) and that suffix indicates a role, or a function, or more properly a state of being. Therefore Matrimony is a state of being which literally leads to a woman as a mother. In the CCC ¶ 1660 is this very clear statement. 1660 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament (cf. CIC, can. 1055 § 1; cf. GS 48 § 1).

There are two words there to which I direct your attention: Covenant and Dignity. When we fail to recognize the gender equity implicit in the placement of two (and only two) genders in life, we ignore the power of that Covenant and besmirch the Dignity of our Consecration to God as essential components of his creation. Men and women who attempt to replace individual perceptions of self with anything other than what God created us to be forcefully disrupt the essence of human nature. Husbands and fathers who neglect their children and abuse their spouses, wives and mothers who neglect their children and abuse their spouses, men and women who manipulate and abuse each other to satisfy carnal cravings – all of these are contrary to the Creator’s intentions for the descendants of אּישׁ and נָשִׁים. Pause and reflect for a moment on this quote from Matthew Henry (1662-1714):

   “Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.”

For those of us who remember the good old Baltimore Catechism we may recall that Matrimony confers Sacramental Graces which are “1st, To sanctify the love of husband and wife; 2nd, To give them grace to bear with each other’s weaknesses; 3rd, To enable them to bring up their children in the fear and love of God.”

In closing, I would be remiss not to present Jesus’ very clear teaching on this:

Mark 10:6-9 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. God did not, has not, will not Consecrate or condone any other Matrimony. Earthlings have attempted to change the definition of Matrimony and marriage as a marriage solemnized as a civil contract without religious ceremony between any two human beings regardless of gender. Some have also decided that it’s pointless to even consider marriage when cohabitation – regardless of gender or number – brings psychosocial satisfaction to participants. Let me state as plainly as possible; this is wrong and must be condemned as must all other aberrations of relationships between men and women. It is equally wrong to say, “it’s none of my/your business.” If that’s not acceptable, we’ll have plenty of time between now and the Resurrection to complain about it to God – you see, he makes the rules; we don’t!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever

— at your service, Belovéd!

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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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