Our pastor preached from Matthew 5:1-12 this past Sunday morning, the Beatitudes.
Ed pointed out that this is Jesus' first big sermon. God in the flesh has finally got a crowd of people in front of him, but instead of laying down the law, telling everybody how sinful they are, calling down fire on the unrighteous, he takes a whole different tack.
The very first word that God With Us speaks to us is this: blessed.
Blessed are all of us, who are at the end of our rope, weeping and mourning, overlooked and downtrodden, hungry and thirsty and seeking peace and mercy. We're blessed, and we're going to find what we need.
God speaks to us a declaration of joy, health, wellness, wholeness for a hurting world. Blessed.
You know that I sent out the "What Women Know About Pornography" survey last week. As soon as the responses began to arrive, I realized I was in over my head.
I have had such brain-buzz this week that I kept waking up and making notes in the middle of the night. Andy claims that I woke him up to sing to him last night, but there is no evidence of this, so I continue to deny it.
I knew there was so much to say. I didn't know where to start.
Then I went to church, and I heard this word: blessed.
I struck me that whatever follows after this, we have to start here: blessed.
Here's a funny thing.
I just went and looked at Genesis 1:28, God's first interaction with newly-created human beings, male and female. Guess what it says?
The very first thing is this:
God blessed them.
I'm going to call that a pattern.
God meets up with people face-to-face, and he blesses them.
The very next thing God says in the creation story is this: "Have lots and lots of sex."
God's first recorded words to human beings? The birds and the bees talk.
"Be fruitful and multiply."
How else can we take that, other than: have lots and lots of sex?
God has blessed us with our sexuality, to give us joy and health and wellness and wholeness.
There's a lot more to say, for sure. There are so many complications in our culture around sex, especially since the internet explosion, which is what got me started on this whole thing in the first place.
Before we try to tease apart this topic of sexuality, and especially the pornography phenomenon and how that impacts us, let's sit with this for a while.
We are blessed.