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A Family Portrait

Go, and do not sin again
John 8:1-11

Sermon Topic Happiness

Sermon Week Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle C

Scripture Summary John 8:11


A little British girl once asked her mother, "Mummy, how did the princess know she was going to have a baby?" Before "Mummy" could reply, her younger daughter, aged five, piped up: "Well, she can read, can't she? It was in all the papers."

Today's Gospel story is about a woman caught in the act of adultery. It happened almost two thousand years ago, and here we are still reading about it. And if someone should ask, "Is marital infidelity still a problem in our time," we might well answer, "You can read, can't you? It's in all the papers -- and in the magazines, and on the afternoon TV talk shows, and in the 'Pop Psychology' books, and in the court rooms, and on the police blotters, and in the soap operas, and in the movies, etc., etc., etc."

In a comic strip, two characters are talking about marriage. One says, "You know, it's odd, but now that I'm engaged I'm beginning to feel nervous about getting married." The other character replies, "I know what you're thinking. It's only natural to be nervous. Marriage means a big commitment. Seven or eight years can be a long time!"

An endless stream of popularly-written, best-selling, celebrity biographies and autobiographies owe their sales successes to "revelations" of marital infidelities. And the supermarket tabloids pay informants a lot of money for such revelations because the publishers know "it sells." Flaunting unhappy and degrading episodes of infidelity and disloyalty is big business these days -- and (if you'll excuse the language) "that's a dirty rotten shame," not only for what it says about us as a society, but also for the kind of example it is setting for our children.

Dr. Will Durant is well-known and highly respected for his distinguished career as author, journalist and educator. Among his written works are "The Story of Philosophy" (a "best-seller") and his monumental "The Story of Civilization," which co-authored with his wife, Ariel. As he grew older, Dr. Durant began to reflect more and more on the question, "What is happiness?" He himself had searched for [...]

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