On Saturday, July 12, I preached the evening vespers service at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream. My given text was Genesis 38. I think I would never have picked such a story had it not been assigned to me in advance. You can hear my twenty-minute sermon online.
As I grow older I enjoy narrative preaching more than ever. This chapter in Genesis is so obviously narrative, with a clear dose of midrash going on, that it begs for the human imagination to work overtime putting various things together. It also begs another pressing question: “How or why do such lewd and bodacious stories get included in the biblical Canon?” Maybe our views of such things are far too prudish. If some Christians I know oversaw the arrangement of the Canon they would have left a great deal out I feel sure. This story would likely be at the top of their list. In very clear and offensive ways it is perverse to the extreme. I know of nothing else to say about that but it really does beg a lot of questions I rarely hear addressed.