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Worth Dying For and Under the Chuppah Chapter 6 & 7

February 20, 2007

live from the Everything is Spiritual Tour

In an effort finish this sooner and fear that few care, I am going to combine two chapters at a time. That means this is the next to last post.

Worth Dying For is a chapter about submitting, about dying to yourself.

As Rob Bell says, “Because people are worth dying for. We know it to be true deep in our bones. And when we see someone actually do it, it’s overwhelming.

One other thing from this chapter that I will pull a quote from, because the section is just brilliant. The section deals with being pulled into the future. How encouraging, affirming words shape us.

This idea that we can be pulled into our futures appears throughout the Bible. Often the writer Paul starts with the underlying theology and foundation and then works his way to the practical examples of how to actually live these beliefs out every day. The book of Ephesians follows this pattern, with a compelling twist. The first three chapters are full of statements about who these Christians are, what their true identity is as followers of Jesus. Paul tells them they’re blessed, chosen, predestined, given, redeemed, forgiven, included, marked, been made alive, saved, raised up, seated with, created, brought near; they are fellow citizens, they are members, they are being built together.

The idea is that, “understanding how God sees us will shape everything about how we live.”

So, which of those statements do you have the hardest time embracing?

In “Under the Chuppah” pronounced HOO-pah. Rob discusses the connection between the marriage bed and God. About the ancient custom of vows under the prayer shawl and how then it was put over the bed and everyone waited outside until the couple had sex. Because it was understood that having sex and being married were one in the same.

Regarding how our culture treats sex:

When you take sex out from under the chuppah, all you are left with is mechanics. Go to any supermarket, stand in the checkout lane, and count how many of the women’s magazines have the word technique somewhere on the cover. Or the phrase “seven easy steps” or the word instructions. There’s nothing wrong with technique and mechanics and instructions, but that’s rarely the real issue. The real issue is something else.

There is a very interesting passage on “thin slicing” that I want to come back to sometime.

But, for now, the issue is that there is a mysterious, spiritual connection in the marriage bed. When its taken out of that it loses something. Its not lets be Victorian and pretend no one ever has sex. The Jewish wedding party didn’t begin until they were sure that the marriage had begun. That the couple under the chuppah (tied over the bed) had consummated the marriage. Not only did they know, they heard!

There is a story that may seem an aside to you but it brought tears to my eyes. Rob tells about a service at Mars Hill where they invited couples to come stand under the chuppah. I remember listening to this service. Apparently most that came were of course wives dragging their husbands, but once under there, the men would start crying. Realization I think that this bond is holy.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2007 7:32 am

    I am enjoying your ongoing book review — it really has me fired-up about getting the book.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  2. February 21, 2007 7:35 am

    Good stuff Tommy-boy!

    I think I have a hard time embracing being predestined…..I think that goes to me being a “control freak”…and years of indoctrination…

  3. February 22, 2007 7:53 pm

    Thanks, Tommy –

    This has been a really interesting book review and I, for one, have gotten a lot out of it and look forward to more.

    Marriage is indeed a very deep and inspirational blending of two lives together into one, just like our lives are fully blended into God’s as His children in this world. I really appreciate the quote from Rob Bell about the Ephesian letter because I have been feeling all of those things he describes myself the past several days and really feel in the Spirit.


  4. February 22, 2007 11:50 pm

    I confess… I’ve stopped reading your posts b/c it’s almost time for my book to get here! I’M SORRY!!! I’ve read enough of your previews to know I’m gonna enjoy it though!

    I’m leaving for Jackson in the a.m. to do a bit of shopping & to get Rhonda when she flies in. So you check in over at my blog every now and then if you don’t mind! You’re an excellent moderator!

    Talk to you later, my friend!

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