Sex as a sacrament.

There was this praise song on my favorite worship album, it always bugged me. “Take me, I am yours”, the woman sang with such throaty passion that it sounded almost sexual, indecent.

I mentioned it once to a friend who told me, it’s just your perverted mind that hears it like that. I never broach the subject again. Today I realise that the song was expressing exactly what my perverted mind thought it did. Our longing is exactly that, to become one with god. We may over/spiritualise it and try to make that union into something spiritual, something less dirty, less visceral. The longing is still the same. I want the spirit of god to enter me, surround me saturate me. Why does it offend us so to talk about penetration, ecstatic joy, pleasure in connection with god.

If we return to the mystics we will find that this is exactly the language that comes back over and over again when they talk about the ecstatic union with god. And if we venture into the night and ask those the church normally consider lost, their reply will be the same. Sex is trancendent, the closest we will ever come to god.

This is why G.K. Chesterton wrote, every man who has ever knocked on the door of a brothel was searching for God.

Only if we can separate our sexuality from the stigma of sinfullness will we dare to believe such things, only then will we dare to hope. WE must become virginal in our approach to sexuality, but not virgins in respect to our genitals but in respect to our minds. We have been filled with so much words, words of condemnation, words of contempt, words of fear. This per/version of our sexuality have rendered us unable to actually experience the divine bound into our sexuality, the sacrament of sex.

If a sacrament is, as we state in the Salvation Army, an outward sign of an inward grace. Then sex must truly be a sacrament, we have of course tried to sanitise it and call it marriage. It is the marriage that makes two people into one, that symbolises the complete union of man and woman to a hybrid that is something more. But we all know that it is in the consummation of the marriage that this happens. Sex is the sacrament, sex is the blurring of the boundaries between two people, but sex also blurrs the sacred/secular divide (the one we imagine is there, but realy does not exist) because it let’s us experience if only for a moment something divine.

That is the thing isn’t it. Sex is such a divine thing but at the same time it is so worldly (in the evangelical sense of the word) it is flesh, it is carnal. Wouldn’t a divine act that is carnal be the definition of incarnation. A carnal sign of a divine reality, a sacrament.

And why would god desire any less of us than this total abandonment, this total union, where we become more than friends, lovers.

“Take me now, I am yours!”

 

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