So I preached on sex this past Sunday as part of our 'Love Re-Imagined' series. I called it 'loving the temple.' Talking about sex in church is a bit like borrowing someone else's baseball mit. A bit awkward. A bit too close for comfort. But better than playing with no mit at all. After all, if preachers stay silent about sex, they simply have to accept that comedians and talk show hosts will fill the vacuum. Or the glove. Thing is, I want to carry on next week with it, but it's Mother's day and I am not sure how that will go down with all the moms.
Paul talked pretty straight about sex in 1 Corinthians. Fascinating that Paul used the idea of our bodies being temples. The temple was seen as sacred by the Corinthians. It was also ridiculously expensive; An Estimated $500 million to build an ancient Greek temple. The Corinthians saw their bodies as amusement parks - John Mayer's, "Your body is a wonderland" would have described their attitude towards sex real well; just a place of cheap thrills with no consequences, but Paul was intent on them seeing their bodies as valuable and sacred in God's eyes.
Our bodies are temples because of the price Jesus paid to redeem us. Our value doesn't come from what we've done with our bodies. We might have cheapened them by our sexual choices, but their value comes from the priceless blood of Jesus which bought us from slavery. We are expensive whether we feel it or not.
And the blood that redeemed us,keeps on redeeming us, setting us free from the chains of sexual brokenness. I've seen it work countless times. It is still potent to redeem today.
Redemption works both ways though. In Corinth, slaves who were redeemed by a generous master, were set free from a life of forced labor. Often though, out of gratitude, that slave would become a willing bond-servant to that master, saying in effect,"You have set me free but I will willingly serve you the rest of my days because of your kindness.'That is what Paul was saying. If we understand God's kindness in setting us free, we willingly give ourselves back to Him. 'You are not your own, You were bought with a price. Honor God with your body."
Our bodies are temples not just because of the price paid for them, but also because the Holy Spirit owns them and resides in them.
After one of our meetings, a mom with three teenage/college age daughters in the church came up to me and said, 'I love that my daughters get to hear this stuff. Hearing it again on Mother's day would be fantastic."
So I guess I'll be sticking my hand inside that baseball mit again this Sunday.