For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
Luke 23:29 (ESV)
These are some of Jesus’ words to the women around him as he made his way to Golgotha to be crucified. When I read them this morning, it struck me that they apply to our current day. Commentators have pointed to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD as the primary focus of this utterance, in part because it is speculated that during the siege there was cannibalism committed by those trapped in the city. Such horrid conditions could give rise to the words Jesus quoted.
Our current day, however, implicitly echoes these words. Children are a burden; disposable. It is preferable to kill them in the womb than to be “cursed” by motherhood. We have elevated the young female body as the epitome of beauty, with no stretch marks and no signs of having borne or nursed children.
This comes, of course, from our fixation upon satisfying our sexual appetites without consequence (Even that phrase indicates our bias.) and without a binding relationship. The lie of the sexual revolution is that sex is merely an act, a game to play, of no more significance or importance than a game of basketball, but the truth refuses to be easily repressed and ignored. We instinctively understand the significance of the sexual act and only through deliberate repression do we make it less than what it is.
We cheapen sex by trivializing it. Successions of partners lend credence to the lie of its meaninglessness. Our ability to watch others engage in sexual acts through the internet is a destructive force in our society. It elevates the unnatural, the brutal, and the impersonal into an act that is intensely personal, natural, and sacred. Sociologists and psychologists are only just beginning to appreciate the damage this is doing to us.
Even abortion is merely a symptom of our unrelenting lust. We willingly imitate the Israelites of old who engaged in ritual sex and sacrificed their children to Ba’al in order to enjoy fertile lands. Today we do it in order to engage in casual sex and enjoy uninterrupted careers. There is nothing new under the sun; we just use clinics where they used altars. It could be argued that at least they were more honest about it.
The lure of lust is obviously not new or unique to our time. The scale and scope of it does seem staggeringly novel from a historical perspective, though. We have used our technological discoveries to empower our desire to separate sex from child raising and marriage. From birth control to plastic surgery, we have entire industries dedicated to and profiting from our adolescent lust to fornicate.
Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Luke 23:30-31 (ESV)
Indeed, it does seem better if the mountains and hills would shield us from the flood of depravity all around us. Every time we wonder if it can get worse, all we have to do is to turn on the news to find out that it has.
Lord, have mercy upon us.