I've complained a lot in seminary that we don't talk enough about sex. We talk around it a lot. We talk about its implications (or rather, sexuality's implications) for church polity a lot. But we don't actually talk about sex, about desire, about pleasure. At least not very much, at least not in the Episcopal Church. This is a shame, I think, because I think we have a word of good news to speak on the subject. At the same time, there are pitfalls. The things that "charm us most" are the hardest gifts for us to use responsibly, to have a healthy relationship with. So when I had the chance to preach on James 1:12-18 for my VTS senior sermon, I had to take it.
14 February 2012
I usually try not to introduce sermons like I'm doing here, but I wanted to give the background because this was a very special (for me) sermon given to a community that knows me and knows I'm generally not a puritanical or finger-pointy person. But I wasn't sure if the words on the electronic page would communicate that the same way my in-person words to my friends and colleagues hopefully did. So to be clear: My point in this sermon, is that, on the one hand, the things that give us pleasure are good gifts from God that we can and should enjoy. On the other hand, as we mature by God's grace, we can and should expect to be changed, to experience life's gifts in healthier and more positive ways.
So, without further ado ...