December 3, 2017: “God DNA”

Posted on : Nov 30th, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

What do sex trafficking and the virgin birth have to do with one another?

I was stunned to learn that according to the U.S. State Department, human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.  It is the world’s second largest criminal activity after drugs.  There are some 5.5 million children trapped in the human trafficking industry.  I find those statistics stunning and at the same time, disgusting and revolting.

You may recall a few weeks ago when Judge Roy Moore was accused of sexual misconduct with girls who were 14 to 16 years old, a Baptist minister tried to come to Mr. Moore’s defense by noting that Joseph – as in Mary’s husband – had the same propensity for young girls.  When I heard that, I wanted to scream.  But, such is the truth about the way the story of the young girl, also called “virgin” Mary has been interpreted over the years.  It came about because of the Church’s obsession with sex.  That obsession against sex, and a mixture of bad theology, have led us to believe that somehow God or the Holy Spirit miraculously (some say immaculately) impregnated Mary.

Nothing could be farther from the intent of the Biblical promise of a Messiah, a Savior who would come from the family lineage of King David.  The place where this story begins is with a prophecy from Isaiah.  Isaiah simply says, “A young woman shall conceive and bear a son and his name shall be “Immanuel,” which in Hebrew means “God-With-Us.”

The early Christian Church had an obsession against sex.  Actually, they had an aversion to anything “fleshy.”  Only “spirit” was good.  Sex was bad.  (Sounds like a Spectrum commercial, doesn’t it?”)  In the process, the two most important aspects of our Christian faith got removed from the story.

Those two aspects are that in the Christian faith – and to the best of my knowledge it’s only in the Christian faith – God comes to us as a human being and God reaffirms the goodness of being human.  As we face more and more cases of sexual abuse and misconduct, and as we face the reality that human sex trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the Western world, we would do well to go back and reclaim the original intent of the Biblical story concerning the birth of the Christ Child.  That intent is simple:  God is with us and within us.  God’s DNA is our DNA; thus, to violate another person is to violate God.

More on Sunday.

Advent Blessings to each of you,

Dan

 

~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

Isaiah 7: 10-14  (The Message)

God spoke again to Ahaz. This time God said, “Ask for a sign from your God. Ask anything. Be extravagant. Ask for the sun or the moon!”

But Ahaz said, “I’d never do that. I’d never make demands like that on God!”

So Isaiah told him, “Then listen to this, government of David! It’s bad enough that you make people tired with your pious, timid hypocrisies, but now you’re making God tired. So God is going to give you a sign anyway. Watch for this: A young girl will get pregnant. She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel (which means, “God-With-Us”).

The Message  ©1993 – 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

 

Luke 1:26-38  (The Message)

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, the angel Gabriel greeted her:

Good morning!
You’re full of God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.

Mary was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,
    be called ‘Child of the Highest.’
God will give him
    the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
    no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never been with a man.”

The angel answered,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
    the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
    will be called Holy, Child of God.

“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”

And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now:
    I am God’s, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
    just as you say.

Then the angel left her.

The Message  ©1993 – 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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