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Sex: Glimpsing the World We Desire

The vision John has [in Revelation] is not of people leaving earth and going somewhere else. It's a vision of God coming here and taking up residence in our midst.

What would that be like? We read that this city "does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light."

Light exposes things. Light shows how things really are. There is no hiding in the light. Light is freedom. There is nothing to fear because everything is shown to be exactly what it is.

In the light, everybody is known fully.

Which is what people crave in sex, isn't it? To be known fully and still loved, still embraced, still accepted.

We read that in this city, "nothing impure will ever enter it." Isn't that what sex is supposed to be for people in its greatest moment? When it is free from power and coercion and manipulation and agendas and fears, when it is simply two people giving all of themselves to each other, holding nothing back?

We read in John's account that there is a tree of life in this city, and that "the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations." The healing of the nations is the dream of the Jewish prophets, the dream of God — for everybody to finally get along. No war, no conflict, no strife. Harmony between all of humanity. Isn't that the dream of any relationship? Isn't that why people continue to step into relationships, even when they've been hurt time and time again? Because we still find new ways to hope that there, we will finally get along with somebody. All of us connected with each other in one giant global embrace.

We read that in this city, "no longer will there be any curse." The curse is a reference to the entrance of death into the human story in the garden of Eden. This curse is everywhere we look. Even the best possible relationships have a certain ache to them because someday, inevitably, one person is going to stand over the casket of the other. It all ends there. For everyone.

For many people, sex is brief moments when everything is okay with the world, even if it isn't. It's escape from the pain and suffering and brokenness of life. It's a short time when all is right, even if lots of things around us are falling apart.

In Revelation, God announces, "I am making everything new!" Isn't that the longing of every embrace, every act of love, sex itself? To start again, to give yourself away, again, to try again for hope and healing and restoration?

We find sex so powerful because it provides people with glimpses into the world we all desperately desire but can't seem to create on our own.

- Rob Bell, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality (Zondervan, 2008).
Excerpted here:

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