From the Pastor November

From the Pastor

 

We are all going to die.

And we are all here because people had sex.

But if there are two things that we don’t like to talk about, they are death and sex.

Sex, death, and religion go hand-in-hand. If there was no sex, there would be no life. If there was no life, there would be no religion. If there was no death, there would be no need to understand God. If we never died, we’d have no need to ponder existence and the nature of what comes next. If we never died, we’d never have to ask why. But because we live, we die, and because we die, we ask these questions, and we call these questions religion, and we come to church to ask them.

At least I hope church is a place where we come to ask these questions, and not a place where we come to escape them. Too often, church is a place where we come to feel comfortable, where we turn away from messy realities and towards easy answers. As we talked about when we read through Job in October, easy answers, no matter how well intentioned, are not necessarily pleasing to God, because they don’t necessarily tell the truth about God.

Sex and death are fundamental aspects of being human, and the church should be a place where people can be fully human. However,I think many, if not most, people see church as a place where they cannot be fully human, where they cannot talk about these fundamental human aspects. As one friend, who is very familiar with the church, said when I was bouncing these ideas off her, “Funny that it’s the institution that formally presides over sex and death, but it’s terrified of actually, honestly encountering either one.” Fair or not, that’s the perception of the church. These questions don’t go away, though, just because the church appears to shy away from them, so people look elsewhere: to art, to music, or to other religions, for example.

Ultimately, all areas of our lives should speak to these big questions. The church has the unique opportunity to connect sex and death to God, and talk about how God desires that we live and die in relationship with one another and creation.

What we think of as messy, God thinks of as beautiful, so we need to practice looking at sex and death through God’s eyes. I believe, I hope, I pray, they are part of the harmony of creation. I believe God is harmony, and since we come from God, we come from harmony. I believe God wants us to live in harmony with each other. I believe when we die, we go back to the harmony of God.

 

Peace, Matt

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