Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lust: Avoiding Fatal Attractions

I am back and will attempt to post my sermons from the 7 Deadly Sins series. I am also getting ready to move, so it will be sporadic for awhile. (Sorry, as if it has been regular all the time.)

Matthew 5:27-30 April 30 Part 1

It all began with a look across the way. It was an innocent look of sorts. He was alone, and lonely. She was alone, herself, and vulnerable. He was 48, married, and had it all. She was young, newly married, and didn’t. He was a person of faith and character. But that look started something in his mind that led him to think about her, a lot. And those thoughts led to a desire that led to finding out who she was. It then led to him making arrangements to see her. He then set about seducing her, he wanted what he wanted, being used to getting his way and getting what he wanted. And this time like all the others he got what he wanted.

Who was this man? Bill Clinton? Donald Trump? The male charachter in the movie Fatal Attractions? One of the men on Survivor? A Sports star? Movie Star? Rock Star? Country Musician? An evangelist? Your Boss? The Guy next door? Just your average Joe?

Would you believe me if I told you he was once King of Israel. Would you believe me if I told you he liked to play on a harp. Would you believe me if I told you he once killed a giant. Would you believe me if I told you he once was a sheepherder? Now you know who he was, David, whose life story is told in the bible in the Old Testament. It is true and a sad part of his life, and his time as King. Because that one simple look, that turned into a desire and an act of seduction then led to a betrayal of marriages, pregnancy, lies, setup murder of the wife’s husband, a betrayal of his relationship to God, and other consequences for his behavior and his sin.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus said these strong words about lust; 27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Poor Jimmy Carter got in trouble over these verses, do you remember, and if that is before your time, let me remind you. The man served as president of the United States and has had a distinguished career of diplomacy and public service far beyond his years in office. In 1976 interview he did with Playboy Magazine, in which he was asked if he was “born-again”. Remember that? Carter said yes, he was, and the interviewer asked that, in light of his born again status if he considered himself holier than most. Carter replied that no, he did not, and in fact . . . he had committed lust in his heart. This was fuel for the media fire that far outweighed Al Gore’s invention of the Internet. Even today people associate Jimmy Carter with lust. We’d never, ourselves, want to be personally associated with the sin of lust .

But if Jesus words that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery is strong, then the rest of our passage is even stronger. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. Are we really suppose to do bodily harm to ourselves, because of lust? Well no, but Jesus is trying to get our attention to the point of how dangerous lust can be and has been and will always be. And he is telling us to get control of ourselves, our looking at others with more than just a look, our thoughts, our desires, our emotions before it is too late, and we have crossed the boundaries to act on our intentions. Because if we don’t we follow the same path of David and others who have given to the enticement of lust.


(to be continued)

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