The Gospel According To Miranda
I can’t say I’m a great fan of Miranda. Miranda Hart herself I do like, but her sitcom on telly on Friday nights I find irritating beyond measure. But if it and I are in the same room I find myself somehow unable to avoid watching it.
So like avid viewers of the series I’m aware of the ongoing almost relationship she has with Gary and how the audience is desperate for them to ‘get it together’, as I believe the expression goes. Indeed Miranda and Gary are too, but somehow it never quite seems to happen. In a programme that’s characterised by a total lack of subtlety the naivety of the ‘chemistry’ between them is quite touching.
In a typically frustrating episode recently Gary and Miranda were getting very close to becoming ‘an item’, and again it never quite happened. At last Gary has an idea: if they went to bed together, they would demonstrably become a couple. In an episode which contained a great deal of very explicit sexual innuendo, that almost throwaway remark in quite a touching scene hit me with amazing ferocity and I’ve not been able to erase the scene from my mind.
God has a very clear context for sex: it is intended purely to be expressed between and man and a woman in the context of marriage. In other words it is the ultimate expression of the love between two people, the culmination of a relationship between a man and a woman. Yet in our society it has become almost the starting point of a relationship.
We live in an age when sex and procreation are no longer inextricably intertwined. We can argue logically that sex can be enjoyed without it resulting in all the responsibility that procreation involves. Conversely, we even have the means to procreate without a partner being involved at all if we so desire. So it’s fine to do what we want, is how the argument goes.
Actually all through history man has considered it fine to do what he wants. Sin came into the world through a belief that actually we know better than God the difference between right and wrong. And that very belief is the root of all the tension and strife that exists in the world.
Society changes down the ages; the society in which I now live is totally different from the one in which I grew up 50 years ago. But God doesn’t change and his absolutes remain absolute. It’s not that God is stuck in his ways or doesn’t want us to enjoy life. The absolute reverse is true. God wants to give us abundant joy in life, and knows and understands every aspect of our ever-changing circumstances. But he still knows what’s best for us.
It sometimes seems as if the church is even more obsessed about sex than the world is, but at the risk of perpetuating that image, God still knows that sex is best enjoyed as the culmination of a relationship that will last a lifetime, not something to be thrown away at the slightest provocation.