Rev. George F. Borghardt
You know what that is! Don’t make me say it. Don’t make me spell it.
Have you noticed that people think and talk about that way too much? That is everywhere! You learned about that in “that ed.” It fills your televisions, computers, and your text messages. We even make thatual-innuendos. There’s that-ography and homo-that-uality. Too much that!
I’m not saying to be prudes about that. That, where the Lord intended for it to be, is good. That in marriage is pure, it’s holy, and it’s sanctified. Marriage is the place for your God-given that-drive. It’s where true love has its free expression.
God gave that. It comes to us as good. He created the heavens and the earth through the Word. He spoke. It all happened through Jesus. Everything was good. Each day: good, good, good, good, good. Five days, five goods.
On day six, when man was created, your Lord Jesus breathed the breath of life into man and man became a living being. You’d have thought that everything would have been good. But it wasn’t good. It’s not good for man to be alone. So God made a helper suitable for Him.
You know the rest of the story. God puts Adam down for a nap. He makes a woman “from his side.” Adam sees woman. Woman sees Adam. It’s a magic moment! Love at first sight! And God looked all that He had made and said it was “very good!”
A man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and the two become one flesh. That’s marriage. That’s where God gives that to happen. That is the two becoming one flesh. The unity between husband and wife isn’t the sentimental stuff of unity candles or ooshy-gooshy feelings. It’s fleshy. It’s honeymoony. It’s all that!
But then along comes sin. The Fall. Hiding from God. Covering everything up with fig leaves. Sin really wrecked that for everyone! Sinning by doing that outside of marriage is called “fornication.” That may just sound like a fancy, four-syllable naughty word, but it’s the word that God calls that between two people who aren’t married. And when people who are married but not married to each other do that, it is called “adultery.” Adultery isn’t a good word either: there’s even a commandment about that one (and yes it includes forbidding fornication). And St. Paul calls that between people of the same gender an ”unspeakable” sin. And that by yourself? Definitely not helpful.
The Second Adam is born to save His bride, to save you from all your sins, all your “that” sins, with His holy life and bitter sufferings and death. He lived a chaste and decent life in all that He said and did. He loves and honors His bride. His life counts for yours. The One who breathed life into Adam breathed His last breath to save you from your sins.
Jesus cleanses her with the washing of water with the Word, and His Church is forgiven. She is perfect. She is holy. She is spotless. She is sinless. She is pure. She is His Bride.
Christ has set you free from that-ing outside of the place where the Lord Jesus gave you for the doing of that. You are free to honor Him, not only with your words, but with your body as well. Your living for others, respecting them, and keeping that in marriage, where it was given, is a holy and acceptable sacrifice of praise to Him.
But what if you’ve already done that and you weren’t supposed to? You thought it was okay because you were in love. Or maybe things got out of hand and the next thing you knew, that just happened. You think you can’t resist doing that again.
Remember: You were bought with a price—the price of the Son of God. Like Eve, you are His bride born out of His side—His spear-pierced side. ”That” sin is forgiven. You are forgiven.
You know what that is. You know where that belongs! It belongs in marriage. There is no need to be constantly thinking and dwelling on that. That only leads to more that. You are in Christ. You are forgiven...and that’s that.