Read This Week’s Passage: Isaiah 56:3–8
The Myth of
Zeal is manifested in various ways in every church. You have the individual who is excited about evangelism. Another one is the expert on church policies and regulations. The prophecy guru is zealous over historical dates, while the cookbook collector is eager to showcase his recipes at potluck. The children’s ministry gang competes with the Vacation Bible School special forces team. Bible memorizers may be in one corner, while in the other are those who have memorized every song. Theological auditors sit in the back pew with their bifocals while the conspiracy theorists have their own unique enthusiasm. From audio-visual techies to prayer warriors, the church is a home to all types, shapes, and sizes of zeal.
Then there is the Auntie (or sometimes Uncle, both needing to be capitalized). She is the one who is zealous about getting every single person in the church married off. Whether she works off a database or her memory, she is a human android that can come up with creative combinations and statistical compatibility rates. We may snicker, but the zeal of this ministry is needed and important, and perhaps you have been on their radar and subject to their ministry.
What may lie behind this zeal, however, is the idea that singles are incomplete and that communities must do everything they can to eliminate them. The first chapters of Genesis are often quoted supporting the notion that it is bad for individuals to be alone. While it is true that married individuals have benefits and advantages, the rewards and pluses of singlehood must not go unmentioned. Afterall, the Son of God Himself was a single. Though this quarter addresses the topic of sexuality, this week will look at various passages throughout Scripture that touch on the gift of singleness and its juxtaposition to the other gift that God has given.