Tending to the Temple

One of the reasons I don't like the pulpit to be full of "do's" and "don'ts" is it makes the preacher sound as if he or she has it all figured out.  He doesn't.  She doesn't.  I don't.  I struggle plenty with knowing and doing what's best.  (Did you hear Sally's hearty "Amen!" to that?)

Another reason is life is often more complicated than simplistic do's and don'ts. 

A third reason is that when you get into moral teaching it often becomes picking on the sins of a few to the approval of the many.  "Yes, preacher, they shouldn't do that anymore."

Jesus spent more time on things that apply to the majority than the minority.  Greed is nearly universal.  He talked a lot about that.  Making self-serving decisions, often based in fear, is a common issue.  Jesus had some things to say about that, as well.

It's fairly easy to take Paul's command to avoid prostitutes and tell you not to do that.  Most people wouldn't challenge the teaching and I don't know of a single person in our congregation who is struggling with that issue.

Inappropriate acts and/or language with a vulnerable person may not be your issue, either, but, let's be clear, Paul's teaching didn't stop there.

The reason I felt inclined to preach from 1 Corinthians 6:12-20yesterday is, while prostitution or even inappropriate behavior with someone who isn't one's significant other might be minority issue in our congregation, 100% of our congregation has bodies.

You have a body and Paul's primary point in that section of 1st Corinthians is what you do with it matters.  So, before you become satisfied that you aren't with a prostitute, aren't committing adultery, aren't fornicating, and aren't making other people feel queasy around you, consider the broader meaning, the one every one of us must consider: how are you tending to God's mobile temple, your body?  Consider what you put into your body and how much rest you are allowing yourself and how much exercise you are getting. Are you, like the Greeks in Paul's day, mistreating your temple as if it's ultimately meaningless?  Or, are you, as plenty of people in our day do, treating your temple as if it matters more than anything, including God?

Things to consider as we remember that all that we have from God are gifts and those gifts are to be tended to faithfully and well.