St Michael’s and St Barnabas, 3rd February 2018
Readings – Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:1-12
There was once a crusty old vicar who was asked to talk to a group of teenage boys about sex. (If you’ve heard this joke before, I must apologise at this point). So he stood up and said to them, “Boys, I have three points beginning with D. It is dirty. It is dangerous. So don’t.” And then he sat down.
Seriously, though, how do we talk about sex and marriage? From a pastoral point of view, this is probably the hardest subject to talk about, and I guess there are good reasons why we don’t often tackle this issue on a Sunday morning. Some of us have been involved in very difficult and painful relationships. Some of us are living with a secret shame we would rather not admit to. Some of us have experienced heartache and pain from the very earliest age. The Bible recognises that when it comes to sex we are dealing with a peculiarly personal issue that affects us at the very deepest level.
And it has to be said that all of us fall short of God’s expectations. Speaking personally, I have been married for almost exactly 25 years, but I am still convicted by what Jesus says about purity of the heart. Most, if not all of us, struggle with our inmost thoughts and desires, and we need to remember that when it comes to what the Bible calls sin, God does not grade us, as if some of our shortcomings are more acceptable to Him than others.
So if we all fall short of the Bible’s teaching, how then should we respond? Read the rest of this entry »