Sunday’s theme–Lust. I tried to find someone to preach this Sunday. . . . but no takers. Who wants to wade into all of this? Of course, part of the problem is that lust or the use of sexual images/actions are so thoroughly ingrained within our culture that we almost fail to observe how sex is used to sell everything from chewing gum to mattresses. But the deeper reason lies within us. Part of being human is to want to know and to be known by another. And so we search for intimacy.
But we often get deluded into thinking that intimacy and the pleasure of knowing and being known comes through sexualized activity. And what happens is that reduce other humans into objects–objects that exist for our own pleasure. Pornography, the Abercrombie and Fitch floor sales staff, or the latest Bud commercial all share the same delusion. Pleasure, sexual pleasure, being known and accepted can be had through being sexy.
That is the lies of lust.
More Sunday. But here are some things that are in my notebook this morning as I am working toward Sunday:
“Porn erodes intimacy because it pays scant attention to men’s needs for sensuality and intimacy while exalting their sexual needs. In other words, porn ruins men’s appetites—their healthy sexual hunger for their wives (or future wives). C. S. Lewis once wrote, “You must not isolate the sexual pleasure and try to get it by itself, any- more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.” By offering arousal without intimacy, pornography feeds men’s sexual cravings with the equivalent of sticky sweets loaded with empty calories.” –Stephen Watters
Here is the words to a hymn that directs us to honor the body:
Sacred the Body
Sacred the body God has created,
temple of Spirit that dwells deep inside.
Cherish each person; nurture creation.
Treat flesh as holy, that love may abide.
Bodies are varied, made in all sizes,
pale, full of color, both fragile and strong.
Holy the difference, gift of the Maker,
so let us honor each story and song.
Love respects person, bodies, and boundries.
Love does not batter, neglect or abuse.
Love touches gently, never coercing.
Love leaves the other with power to choose.
Holy of holies, God ever loving,
make us your temples; indwell all we do.
May we be careful, tender, and caring,
so may our bodies give honor to you.
And finally, a wonderful prayer:
Loving God, you created me in Your image and likeness. My human sexuality is a gift from You. You call me to guard it, not hide it. May all the baptized strive to live chaste lives according to their state in life. I ask for the grace I need to‘put on Christ’ the model of all chastity and to turn away from lustful thoughts and other sins of the flesh. Grant this through Christ Jesus, Your Son, my Lord. Amen.
Read 1 Corinthians 6.12-20 and I will see you Sunday!