How Do We Change Our World?

This Sunday we are really exploring a difficult, if not life-changing, topic. The topic is this: how do we live as follo


wers of Jesus in our world?

Because if you haven’t noticed so much of our world isn’t Jesus-like. There is hate, anger, greed, self-interest, materialism, environmental abuse, violence, and difficulty. These are things that are both prevalent around our lives and affec

t our lives.

The truth is that our world in many ways is far from the Kingdom of God. In God’s Kingdom people don’t go hungry, in our world they do. In God’s Kingdom people are valued, in our world people are left out and alone. In God’s Kingdom

violence has no redemptive power, in our world we think it does. In God’s Kingdom the marginalized are

welcomed, in our world they are forgotten. This isn’t though a case of pessimism because Jesus is clear that his Kingdom is here, it is growing

, it is moving, and it is always also coming. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we can have hope in a better world, and not just one we find when we die, but one we can have while we live.

The question then is how do we change the world we are a part of? Because Christianity has been about chan

ge from the beginning. Transformation of personal lives, of communities, of neighborhoods, and even of the entire world. So in light of the major difficulties of the world, how are we to live so that we partner with Jesus in bringing change?

Well on Sunday we are going to be looking at a story that is all about changing the world around: everything from our communities right up to the world of politics around us.

We are going to be looking at the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den.

I remember a prof once joking that we shouldn’t talk about sex, money, or politics in church. And since I’ve already covered sex and money, I thought why not cover the last one.

So that’s where we’re headed on Sunday, but before we get there why not think about this question and post an answer if you have it. How do you change the world? And where does change start?

The gods all around us…

945751_89422954Sometimes I think it would be easier to live in Jesus’ day and age than ours.

At first such a statement seems ridiculous. I mean the church was facing persecution, you could be martyred, you would be dealing with famine, poverty, and immense struggle. And this is all true. But at least you’d know the enemy you’re facing.

Here is what I mean. In the time of the early church you knew that following Jesus meant that you couldn’t follow the gods of Zeus, the emperor, or Dionysus. Those gods were explicit, seen, and prominent in culture. In essence, those gods were named.

Yet in our culture our gods are just as powerful, pervasive, but are so much more subtle. We don’t think twice about following Jesus all the while working 60 hours for more money, a better office, or new promotion. We don’t think twice about following Jesus all the while filling ourselves with entertainment based on sex, hate, or anger.

The point is that our gods hide in our culture.

So on Sunday we are going to look at how Jesus calls us to follow him and him alone. We are going to name some of the gods around us that vie for our attention and pull our allegiance from Christ the King.

The question I have for you is this: what gods do you see around you?

It’s easy to name the gods of Greed and Sex. But what other gods are there out there? Because before we can resist and reject them, they need to be named.

So take some time and look at our culture, and see who is asking for your allegiance? What demands your time and attention? What gods are all around us that Jesus might say to us, ‘you can only follow one master’?

That’s where we’re going on Sunday. Maybe not the easiest topic in the world, but being prophetic and imagining a different world has never been easy. But often the hardest things in life are the most worthwhile…

The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us. We need to ask if our consciousness and imagination have been so assaulted and co-opted by the [culture around us] that we have been robbed of the courage or power to think an alternative thought.

Walter Brueggemann– The Prophetic Imagination

Sex Talk in Church

So on Sunday we talked about sex. We talked about God’s perspective on it, trying to understand two questions: why was it given and what’s the basis for great sex?

Biblically, God’s design for sex is pretty clear – it’s to unite and connect. When God says a man leaves his father and mother and becomes “one flesh” with his wife in Genesis 2:24,what God is saying is that sex connects. That two people, two lives, two different beings become truly one in a deep sense. This isn’t just a physical oneness but a deep relational, spiritual, and emotional oneness. That’s the beauty of marriage and of sex.

The way then you have great sex is to focus on that oneness. Great sex doesn’t flow out of great desire. Great sex flows out of great intimacy. Relationships are built on intimacy, trust, and commitment, and when you have that – that’s when great sex happens. We read about it in Song of Songs 4:12 how the man says his sex was so great it was like cool, refreshing, living water. He says this happens because of the intimacy, the depth of connection, and the sacredness between him and his bride. Their choice to only choose each other generated deeper and better sex because of the intimacy and connection that was there.

So that’s what we looked at last Sunday, that sex connects, and great sex is based in great intimacy and commitment.

So this week no matter what stage and place you are in whether married, looking, or single and content, focus on building trust and intimacy in your friendships and relationships. Because that’s what really matters and that’s what makes a great friendship.

And lastly, if you want to hear my semi-awkward sharing on sex it will be posted under sermon download shortly. What you won’t get though is the visual of me turning red a few times!

Let’s Talk About Sex…

Studies have shown that the more religious people are, the less comfortable they are talking about sex. This means that Sunday could be awkward because that’s what we’re talking about: sex.

The question is why are we nervous or uncomfortable to discuss sex? Why does everyone else talk about it but we don’t in the church? Why is sex used to sell soap but we become nervous to open a dialogue about it?

Well I think it’s because we get nervous and shy discussing the physical aspect of sex. But in reality sex isn’t just about connecting physically, it’s so much more than that. When you are discussing sex, what you are really talking about deep down is relationships because sex is relational first and physical second.

So on Sunday we are going to look at what does this physical act flow from relationally? How is it meant to function in a relationship? What is God’s plan and design for it? And how does it affect all of us? This sermon isn’t just for married people. This sermon isn’t just for people hoping to have sex. This sermon is for every one of all ages, stage of life, and statuses. This is about what sex says about us and how our relationships work.

So to begin, comment or send me your questions, perspectives, or opinions on sex and the Bible and on Sunday I’ll do my best to answer them and to discover God’s perspective on sex.

P.S. I promise it won’t be awkward for anyone other than me…because my wife’s grandparents are coming…