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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10062013 19th Sunday After Trinity

Sermon Audio

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

What do a computer, a swimming suit and a phone have in common?  Each of them functions differently.  Two need electricity in order to work, one, has only a utilitarian function.  But each of them are connected with the Commandments that we have been hearing about in our Series on the Catechism.

Ironically you can find each of these items at Wal-Mart or on-line and can pay either lots of money for function or looks, whether of the bathing suit by the lack of cloth in it and the more money for it or even of computers and all the cool features of cameras, memory and keyboards and the phone with either a touch screen, blue tooth, wireless capability, fancy apps or even the case and cover for it.  Yet ironically the phone, the computer and bathing suits each are impacted by and have an effect upon our understanding of the Sixth Commandment we will consider this morning.  Let’s pull out the insert from your bulletin and hear the Sixth Commandment and read together the meaning or explanation beginning with “We should”.  “You shall not commit adultery.  What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.”  Clearly this commandment deals with the relationship between husband and wife, but what does it have to do with a cell phone, a computer and a bathing suit and how are they connected and relate to us today?  Before we continue lets go to God in prayer and ask Him to open our hearts to hear His Word concerning the Sixth Commandment.

Let us pray, Gracious Lord, when You came down to the earth and took on human form, society was less technology and electricity driven than we are today.  Not only was technology less, modesty was not as much an issue, because of the understanding of relationship not only between husband and wife, but also between man and God.  Enable and empower us to see our relationship between husband and wife, not as distant, and by Your Holy Spirit to bridge the gap of our relationship with our spouse, but also and especially with Your Son Jesus Christ, for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

This past week I was up with the Seniors at Wheat Ridge Acres where we shared with one another not only the Word of God from last week’s Gospel, but also the meal that we will be sharing here in a few minutes.  In our conversations and discussion we were reviewing the 10 Commandments that are the basis for our sermon series.  Interestingly everyone was able to not only put the commandments in order, but they even remembered each commandment.  After we went through each Commandment I pointed out how each Commandment deals with relationship, whether the First Table or the first three commandments that deal with relationship with God on the Vertical or the Second Table of the Law the last seven commandments that deal with relationship on the horizontal, between mankind. 

Today we encounter the Sixth Commandment which as one of the Second Table of the law concerns the relationship between mankind, specifically, husband and wife, but also between all of us, male, female, young and old.  At the Technical College where I teach during the week the students claim if they are not married, that the issue between husband and wife does not apply, so therefore the Sixth Commandment has no impact or bearing upon them or their lives, but for them and for us here today that is farthest from the truth.  Farmers or ranchers might say, I spend my time on a tractor, seeder or combine or shoveling muck from the pasture or a barn or caring and tending for the cattle on the ranch, the Sixth Commandment doesn’t apply to me.  Young adults would claim, since I am not married and am not in a serious relationship, I don’t have to worry about breaking the Sixth Commandment, it does not apply to me.  Our older members might venture, well my spouse has entered the church triumphant, it no longer applies to me.  As Pastor, I could say, I am responsible to be a model to society, for the members of the church and even for my family, I surely cannot nor should not break the Sixth Commandment.  But the reality is all of us break the Sixth Commandment and commit sin whether in thought word or deed.

Yet, before us this morning are items that deal directly with the Sixth Commandment.  Easily we can connect the bathing suits, self-image, sex and sexual desire or drive.  Whether on television, print media, with our friends or even at major sporting events or on the big screen, our society always has sex on the mind and how to exploit it in a very unhealthy way.  Hear me clearly, I am not saying bathing suits are bad, nor am I saying we are or can be immune to the draw they have to the way God made us.  But bathing suits do tempt our eyes and our minds to sin, may be not in deed, but certainly thought.  This is even no different from sexy dresses that models and actresses wear, our jealousy of the abs of famous actors in movies like Thor, Captain America, Star Trek or any movie that shows a midrift.  Our society plants images in our minds of what we should look like and the clothes that we wear lead us and others to break the Sixth Commandment.

But what about the phone and the computer, certainly they aren’t used to break the Sixth Commandment?  In the movie Fireproof, the main character played by Kirk Cameron, had an addiction to pornography.  Instead of loving his wife and fulfilling the Sixth Commandment he found satisfaction in looking at images on a screen that brought him sexual satisfaction instead of his wife that he had married.  It was not until he had destroyed the computer and the monitor and cut the cord that he freed himself from the leash of sin in his life.

Certainly the phone cannot be used to break the Sixth Commandment?  Sadly it does not have the same draw as a computer or bathing suits, but when we make an item like the phone or an inheritance or even our jobs more important than our relationship with our spouse or even our God, we have broken the Sixth Commandment.

We probably ask, what hope is there for us?  Clearly there is no hope with anything we have or that we can do, whether it be clothes, phone, computer, cars, trucks, tractors, combines, planters, houses, land, farms, jobs or anything else that we make more important than our relationship with our spouse and with God.  Having been here for nearly three years I have heard and even personally used the concept that ‘job’ and ‘calling’ is more important than family.  I have sacrificed my family on the altar of ministry.  Our rationale is that without our job, our farm, our income, we lose ourselves as well as our being.  Yet the reality is God calls us to be willing to give up all of that in order to serve Him.

Yes, the Sixth Commandment deals specifically with the relationship between husband and wife.  But the reality is that God sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world to repair our relationship on the horizontal plane, between husband and wife.  Jesus Christ came into the world and modelled perfectly what relationship was in through and by His relationship with the church.  Jesus Christ loved the church and loves us so much that He came to show us, but also perfectly fulfill the Sixth Commandment.  And these items here before us this morning are just reminders for us today of what Jesus Christ came to redeem.  Jesus Christ came to redeem all of us that are gathered here this morning.  Whether we wear bathing suits, use computers and carry phones, Jesus Christ cam to set us free to be Children of God.  God is calling us to honor the relationship we have with our spouse and live out the model He gave for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
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