Thursday, April 3, 2014

Removing the Stain

Luke 7:36-50

Fair warning: This week's sermon might make you uncomfortable.  We’re talking about sex. And when it comes to that particular subject, we contemporary Americans have a rather peculiar attitude.  On the one hand, we act like Victorian prudes, who get embarrassed at any mention of sex.  On the other hand, we act like perpetually hormonal 13-year-old boys, who find the subject fascinating beyond all reason, who sort of snicker when it comes up.  If a person from some other civilization time-traveled to our day and spent just a few days here, they would notice our obsession with sex.  It’s the subject of most of our humor, our advertising, our movies, music and television.  If you’ve ever read the Bible all the way through, you know that the Bible has a very different outlook on sex.  Its language is very frank.  There are lots of passages that preachers like me find it difficult to preach on; we have to do verbal gymnastics to avoid embarrassing the prudish side of our congregation and titillating to distraction the immature side.  And honestly, there are sections I won’t touch in a sermon, like Ezekiel 23 and big portions of the Song of Solomon.  But this Sunday, I am going to try to speak as frankly as the Bible does.  For the parents out there, I’m going to try to talk about this in a way that won’t steal your children’s innocence—I’m a parent myself, so I get that.  But you may end up having to answer some questions before you were prepared to do so, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 
We’re in a series about the way Jesus changed our world and continues to influence it.  And here’s an ironic fact: Even though Jesus was a lifelong celibate single person, He changed the way we think about sex and marriage more than any other person who has ever lived.  Today, even though we live in an increasingly irreligious culture, most people still choose to get married in a church; they take vows in the name of Jesus, a man who never married.  Why is that?  And how does Jesus’ sexual ethic still challenge us, whether we are religious or not?  We'll spend some time looking at a story in Luke 7:36-50 that is very revealing.  We'll also look at Matthew 5:27-28. 

1 comment:

KEmmaus said...

I'm reading Who is this this man. The chapter on marriage shocked me because of the sexual practices back then. I didn't think I'd hear this in a sermon. Looking forward to it. It's a fascinating book. I can only read a few chapters at a time and take in all the information. So much inspiration you and the Spirit continue to give. Jesus is very much alive.
I never mentioned how much I loved your sermon on religion vs. Jesus either. Thank you for sharing your passion for God.