Genesis 19:1 – 1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening…

Some passages of Scripture are just hard. There is no way around it. There are stories that are simply difficult to teach in Sunday School church. And when we do teach them we typically, and with good reason, share only the “age appropriate details.” If you’ve grown up in church, you’ve sat through these lessons. You’ve listened to Mrs. Snodgrass retell the account of man’s sin.  You’ve watched on as God’s response was captured in images on the flannelgraph board.  These stories and these images are often branded in our minds. And what accompanies these memories is the sanitized version of the story we received.  Again, to be clear, age-appropriate lessons are good; but as we grow and mature, it is crucial to go back and revisit the text in its fulness. Honestly, it’s not always enjoyable. Often it’s hard. As I studied Genesis 19, most commonly known as the story of “Sodom and Gomorra,” I was blown away by the weight of it. It was so different from my Sunday School memory. It brought emotions that didn’t fit the happy songs that we sung. As I read it, I found it to be hard. I found it to be dirty. I found it to be ridiculous. I found it to be real. Ultimately, I found it to be good. We come to church to worship God and learn the truth.I’m so grateful to be in a church that wants to hear the clear truth. So with this in mind, this week’s sermon comes with a disclaimer that real hard truth is coming. Real sin. Real pain. Real disgust. Real judgement. Real penalty. Real life. My gracious appeal is that you prayerfully prepare your heart for this text. Additionally, while you know I work hard to keep what’s spoken from the pulpit to be suitable for most audiences, the subject matter this week does merit parental conversation. Please read the text and decide at what level your child might need to be prepared for the story. As a gauge, the level of detail will not exceed, yet also not be any less than, what would be suitable for a professional 5pm news source. As an encouragement, I want to assure you that, while this text is more graphic than the Sunday School version you may have learned, it is also not as hopeless as some make it out to be either. As a matter of fact, you’re going to learn that this is a MERCY story. I assure you that each and every one of us will see ourselves and those we love in this text. We will see ourselves for who we are. We will come face-to-face with that we deserve, while at the same time receiving all the mercy that we don’t.  Real people need the real Bible to address real issues in their real lives. This week we get real. So please, let’s get ready. Read, pray, worship, and come ready to receive mercy from the Lord.

Take some time to listen to the worship set to prepare your heart.


Love you Church,

Jerry Lingenfelter
Senior Pastor