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The Living God

Daily Devotional • June 22

A Reading from Matthew 19:1-12


1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.

Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘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.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”




No one thinks of how their hearts may be shredded to pieces when they say, “I do.” No one thinks of how their heart may be broken when they look at their newborn for the first time. Things that should never happen occur, and the pain is immense. Christ knows suffering and pain; we have an understanding God. The Living God promises to always be with us and give us peace and new life.

We say, “… and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We know that we must forgive others. However, forgiveness is easier said than done. Perhaps a starting point is to ask yourself, how much have you received compassion and forgiveness from others? Indeed, we have been forgiven for many things. How can we keep holding on to what others have done to us? If we do not forgive, we are the ones who carry the burden and end up hurting more in the end. 

Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting, condoning, or allowing it to happen again. Forgiveness primarily helps the one hurt to move on. Reconciling and forgiveness are two separate things, and reconciling may never occur. 

When our hearts have been shredded, and our lives shattered into pieces, the only One who can bring us healing and peace is the Lord. We cannot do it on our own. He may provide us with a caring friend or counselor, a different perspective, or His peaceful presence as we walk through the pain together. Wherever you find yourself, in the process of forgiveness or wanting to have the desire to forgive, the Lord is with you and knows what you are going through. 

Forgiveness and relationships are hard work, and the pain that might possibly occur is a scary thought. But it is worth the hardship and the effort to love others.


The Rev. Sara Oxley is the rector of The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland, Florida.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Gboko – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Church of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, Georgia


Scripture and prayer. Every weekday.