Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Temptations

I am tempted to complain about the length of today's sermon. I know we deleted the Psalm and the reading from Paul in order to shorten the service so we would get the annual parish meeting through in a timely manner, and we were finished before 1 pm. What would have happened if we had included the rest of readings and skipped the sermon? Would people have been confused by the logic of Romans 5:12-19?
Would we have needed an exposition on Psalm 32?
For those of us who missed it, I copied the readings from the Lectionary site in the links section of this blog.

Psalm 32 The Joy of Forgiveness Of David. A Maskil.
1Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up* as by the heat of summer.
5Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’,
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
6Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress,* the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
7You are a hiding-place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
8I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
10Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Romans 5:12-19
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— 13sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. 16And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. 19For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Okay, maybe the Romans reading could have been trimmed to verses 18-19, and maybe the Psalm could have been trimmed to verses 8 and 9 (for the new Vestry members).

During today's sermon I noticed the attempt to de-emphasize "temptation" and to rewrite sinfulness by removing anything pertaining to sexuality as a subject of discussion.
I think Charlie was headed in the right direction at times during his sermon, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity to point out that while Genesis shows the original sin in all of us, and the way we respond to temptation, Jesus shows us how we should respond to temptation. There, I just tried to do in one sentence what might take 15-20 minutes of non scripted talking to accomplish. I challenge you to try to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. The Pewster is to be commended for publishing those readings which were eliminated in the interest of shortening the service. I'm not convinced of the value of truncating the order of worship in any event. However, when the sermon runs 24 minutes, shortening the service was clearly not the real reason for eliminating Paul and David. In the surreal world of TEC, Paul, in particular, is on the verge of banishment for holding some quaint ideas about renouncing sin, repenting and returning to the ways of the Lord. This flies in the face of the post-modernist style of moral relativism, anything goes and if it feels good, do it type of theology. My Mother always said that the good Lord helps those who help themselves. One has to wonder who will help the revisionists to save their immortal souls when they present themselves for the final judgement.