But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
It’s fair to say the reason I chose this reading today, isn’t because I love it, it certainly doesn’t rank as one of my all-time favourite scripture! Rather, it’s because I signed up late and it was one of the very few ‘left-overs’. It isn’t a passage, I’ve ever preached on without its surrounding, more encouraging context, when we are called ‘light of the Lord’ and exhorted to ‘Be filled with the Spirit’. It would be lovely, if we could extract the difficult bits, from the Bible. To have ‘light’ without ‘darkness’, ‘fragrant offerings’, without ‘sacrifice’. But it isn’t an option and light reveals shadows.
Paul refers to these shadows, the ‘unspeakable, that must not even be mentioned among you’. ‘Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them, for everything exposed by the light becomes visible’. Ephesians 5:11-12.
We may have shadows, needing to be brought into the light, confessed to God, for his mercy and forgiveness. But, urges Paul, don’t forget in all things thanksgiving.
Sorry Lord for the times I’ve been selective about your Word, seeking comfort not challenge. Help me to engage with your word, even when it means revealing the shadows in my life. Transform me, by the power of your Holy Spirit and equip me, to be an instrument of praise, giving glory to you. Amen.
The Rev’d Sally Willett is minister of Thamesmead Community Church and an Evangelism and Renewal Advocate for the Group for Evangelism and Renewal in the URC.
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.