Date: 30 Dec 1999
Time: 19:10:11

Comment

It seems to me that Paul is saying that Christian freedom means TRUE freedom. If we say we are free to do anything, but are compelled to do those things by our sinful nature, then we are not free, but in slavery. Christian liberty makes us masters of our bodies, so that we no longer endulge the sinful compulsions that reign within us. When we do endulge those compulsions, it is not out of our Christian freedom, it is out of submission to some desire that has control of us.

MRA


Date: 10 Jan 2000
Time: 03:32:57

Comment

So how do we relate this passage to Epiphany? And to the gospel lesson? Seems schizophrenic to me. A better epistle lesson to go along with the gospel might be 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 about knowing Christ from the human vs divine point of view; and about reconciling the world to God. Clare in Iowa


Date: 10 Jan 2000
Time: 23:40:09

Comment

"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are beneficial." Trying to help people to distinguish between law and gospel is a challenge. Many would prefer to be captive to the law than take responsibility for choosing their own behavior. When we are under the law we are able to resent the law giver for "making" us miserable. When accept that we are free to choose, we give up the right to blame. When we are under the law sexually transmitted diseases are a punishment. When we are free, they are a consequence. SS in PA


Date: 11 Jan 2000
Time: 15:24:53

Comment

Doesn't seem to be a hot text for this Sunday since no one is making comment. I have been reading John Ortberg's book "The Life You've Always Wanted". One chapter addresses the issue of discipline. He comments "Disciplined people can do the right thing at the right time in the right way for the right reasons." It seems much of the instruction of Paul in Corinthians centers around the issue of discipline or training to enable a person to be more open to the relationship God wants to have with each of us and to enable us to be free to share the good news without hindrance. If Paul was 'hung up' on sexual function (or dysfunction) he was no different than a society like our own American culture that uses sexuality not only for pleasure but to sell products. It seems the expression of our sexuality falls easily into a lesson on living a disciplines life or a carefree(careless) life. ORtberg quotes Martin Luther'sbeginning to The Freedom of the Christian; "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all." As I think of Dr. Martin Luther King, surely he could not have met the challenges in his life had he not trained, prepared for those challenges. Before the demostrations protesters were informed about the violence that would be dished out and were told how to respond. It kept the protestors peaceful in the midst of a frustrated and confused nation.


Date: 11 Jan 2000
Time: 16:01:35

Comment

I will preach this text, using the title "Tending the Temple." I believe that it is important that we preach about taking care of ourselves. We focus so much on the "spiritual," but the physical is also a gift of God's making which needs to be tended well. Our response to the word may include step aerobics!

-Dale in Chattanooga


Date: 11 Jan 2000
Time: 18:39:23

Comment

On the other lectionary readings, there are several comments about tying the readings together, and doubt and confusion as to how to add in this particular passage. I wonder, as I dwell on these verses, if they do not tie together very well. There are two calls to us: The call to Christ and salvation, and then the call to obedient discipleship. This passage helps us to focus on the call to discipleship. How can we respond to God's call and be ONE with GOD if we are ONE with sin and worldliness? just a few beginning thoughts..... any comments will be much appreciated.... Rev Janet in NY


Date: 11 Jan 2000
Time: 23:50:37

Comment

"...your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit ... you are not your own ... you were bought with a price..."

What does this do to the pro abortion argument that "A woman must control her body" or to the new age argument that "I don't need a marriage to live in sexual union" ?

Just asking, you understand!

Deacon Gary


Date: 12 Jan 2000
Time: 16:48:25

Comment

If this is a second posting, I apologize. I am preaching this passage, using the idea of "Tending the Temple." I believe that it is important for us to talk about how we treat our bodies - the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus, this scripture will be a springboard for discussing how we should tend to the physical just as we tend to the spiritual. -Dale in Chattanooga


Date: 12 Jan 2000
Time: 21:07:29

Comment

These may be extremely difficult things to talk about in a church setting. Especially for someone, like me, who is seen to be without experience. But when you connect this scripture with the others in the lectionary this week and see that the major portion is about God/Holy Spirit's presence with each of us all the time, perhaps that makes it a little more palatable.

So, not only is God taken with us into the bed of a prostitute (if that's where we go) but also into the stock exchange, the local hangouts, the grocery store. We carry God with us in to places where we sin and places where we proclaim the good news and they can be the same places. If we just do less of the former and more of the latter, perhaps we carry it where it needs to go.

AW in IL


Date: 14 Jan 2000
Time: 00:23:39

Comment

Well, I was hoping there would be some contribution, but I guess the Epistles don't get as much attention as the Gospels do.

Anyway, I am thinking about what Paul is arguing against. Apparently, the people he is arguing against think that because they have been baptized into Christ and are forgiven for their sins, they can do anything they want now.

That's bad news. Like Paul pointed out, maybe so, but that doesn't mean that everything is good for us and can even dominate us! I'm thinking of drugs and food for example. Sex, alcohol, and television can be more example.

Anyhow, let's hear some comments, folks!

Brandon in CA


Date: 14 Jan 2000
Time: 17:17:07

Comment

I'm titleing my sermon "No such thing as an Out-of -body experience" Yes, In Christ, we are free from the law with all its do's and don't's. But being free doesn't mean we are disconnected. In Christ we are the body of Christ. When believers go in to the prostitutes of the idols they are part of the body and take Christ, and us, with them. When we worship the idols of our age we take Christ with us. We are never separate from the Body. That's part what Paul is meaning when he says when one suffers we all suffer, when one is glad we all are glad. When one goes in to the prostitute the whole body is corrupted. We are free, but we are not our own. We belong to God, and thus to his body. FISHER IN TN


Date: 14 Jan 2000
Time: 17:30:46

Comment

I was very tempted to preach on this text if only because it stands there as the liturgical equivalent of a purple cow. Shun fornication! is what people hear and the 2 primary responses are to start feeling judgmental about the sexual sins of others or to start feeling uncomfortable about all the ways we fail to honor our bodies. What I really think is that Paul is putting the theology of the Incarnation into immediate life terms: if God has taken flesh, what does that say about the value of who we are, body and soul? What does that say aabout the sanctity of relationship? Also, when Paul talks about porneia (here translated fornication), isn't he referring to exploitive sexual relations? Using someone else without benefit of actual relationship? Just some thoughts. I'm actually working with the Gospel. L in NY


Date: 15 Jan 2000
Time: 02:17:43

Comment

1,14,2000 We are not our own! What a statement in the land of rugged individualism. What a thing to say to the editors of "Self" magazine. What a thing to say to those who tout "fat is beautiful." What a thing to say to those who talk about "their orientation." What a thing to say to the person holding the remote control in one hand and a Bible gathering dust on the shelf. What a thing to say to the person who is convinced that, "I am in charge of my life, and I will make my own choices and decisions." What a thing to say to those who are "pro-choice." What a thing to say to a rebellious body-of-Christ.

Dale in Kansas


Date: 16 Jan 2000
Time: 01:32:43

Comment

Dear Clare and others; I believe often the lectionary has no intention of blending readings; in this case the psalm "thou hast seen me and known me" couples with the Cor. pasage but not with the others. I chose for this week to hit the cor. passage since it goes against my nature to deal with fornication from the pulpit. sometimes we have to let the lctionary lead us into uncomfortable waters in order to be faithful to the scriptures. More later. -"desperate Jeff" in NY-


Date: 16 Jan 2000
Time: 01:46:30

Comment

the main portion of this text I am going for it the body as the temple of the holy spirit, which is also voiced in chapter 5, beginning. This is an impt. concept to paul, who knew the gnostic views of anything goes with the body, since our spiritual lives are not affected by the body. Also, impt. to paul because he know the greco roman world and its thought, having studied in it under Gamaliel. They believed that they were indeed free to think and do "as long as my actions dont hurt another person." Does this sound at all familiar? No wonder we struggle with even mentioning the concept of sin from our pulpits. The other reason, of course, is our own worry at being hypocrites, since most preachers I know are also people, who have struggled with the same sexual sins as our parishoners. No one wants to be the pot calling the kettle black. Seems the only way to focus for this passage is to look at the body as temple, which includes far more ramifications for our behavior, and sets our future goals for holiness in a positive context. That Christ may be glorified by our actions; this will preach!

-desperate Jeff in NY-