OK, let's face it, the discussion of circumcision in church has always been a bit awkward. It's awkward elsewhere, too, I suppose, but not nearly like it is in church. Sure, we understand that God set apart his chosen people by having the males get circumcised, but you can't tell me that you haven't scratched your head and thought, Wouldn't a tattoo have been a little easier? And a little more noticeable?
There are many things that God set out in the Law of the Old Testament that make little earthly sense. Have you ever noticed, though, that there are tons of laws that didn't make sense for centuries but completely square with modern medicine? Many of the rules about cleanliness make very good guidelines as "universal precautions" for biohazards. And the prohibition against eating piggies is good advice because of a little fellow called the trichina worm.
So what does this have to do with circumcision? Well, recent studies have suggested that circumcision lowers the risk of getting HIV by more than half. Now, I wouldn't say that God was creating safeguards for folks wanting to engage in sexual sin, but I think it's pretty neat that something that's a sign of covenant to some and a peculiar cosmetic surgery to others may also hold very real health benefits.
Oh, and Happy New Year!
Went to the post office today--a daunting prospect two weeks before Christmas. Good to get those boxes sent out, though, particularly the one to Iraq. So I finally got to the counter, got my two boxes mailed out then asked for some Christmas stamps. The guy handed me some lovely blue ones with little white snowflakes. I handed them back. "The real Christmas ones, please." Looking embarrassed, he smiled and acknowledged his mistake.
Posted by Nate at 12/13/2006
The church you see above is where I kissed my wife for the first time. December 2, 2000. It was great! She was wearing this really elegant dress and looked fantastic...it was a wedding dress, actually. Six years later, we are still in love and still in like with each other. (Getting married in 2000 was brilliant, by the way, because we'll never forget how many years we've been married.)
Now, I'm not going to tell our whole story here, even though it's a good one. I just want to say that I'm blessed by God to have such a wonderful wife, and I don't take it for granted. I'm not always an easy person to live with (moody, opinionated, not a morning person), and she's poured out more grace and mercy than I could have hoped for. I am humbled by her love.
About that like vs. love thing: If one's love is rooted in faith and is a chosen action rather than a fleeting emotion, love can and should last a lifetime. If you're married, you should always love your spouse. There may be days, though, when the love endures but the liking isn't so strong. I can truly say that I love my wife and there's no one I like more. She makes the mundane things in life more enjoyable and the difficult things in life far more bearable.
Thanks, Jen, for being my wife these six years. I love you more each day. Thanks, too, to those who've supported us and celebrate this anniversary alongside us.
Posted by Nate at 12/01/2006