But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:17-18 KJV
Here we go then. Deadly Sin Series number five. The word is greed. Avarice. Talk about apropos 2019.
So – and no surprise at this point – Rebekah nailed it. Good stuff all around. But there was something extra when it came to bringing it all together, a deliberate set of building blocks – stories, illustrations, quotes, anecdotes, insights, commentary, observations (some funny some poignant some moving) – all making space and laying the groundwork for a conclusion that was impossible to forget.
(I’m not sure if I should tell you any more or if you should just listen – you can find Rebekah’s message here, beginning at around the fourteen and a half minute mark.)
Essentially – and this is especially funny seeing as she referenced sloth poo just a couple of weeks ago – the deal with greed is a kind of spiritual constipation. We have no facility to respond to God’s call to serve when we want and grab and hoard to the extent that nothing, not even the light and the love of God, can pass through us anymore.
Because you see we were (we are) created, called, equipped, and charged with the responsibility to let the light and the love spill over, flow out, flow through. We are the conduits God has chosen through which to bless this world. But we stop that up, we block the channel, we gum up the works when we focus on ourselves and our personal greed.
The problem with greed really goes back to the idea of purpose. For what purpose are we blessed with so much? The only possible answer has to be in order to bless others. What other reason could there be to have access to such plenty?
So it was another good Sunday, one of those days when all the elements seem to work together to produce an almost symphonic sense of love, and fellowship, and worship and focus.
Of course, it helps to walk into church with the grandchildren in tow. If only this world could – would – look through their lens of innocence, and wonder, and natural generosity, and simply recalibrate because of what we can learn from them.
Children remind me that we weren’t born greedy, we were born generous. The antidote to greed is gratitude.
Gratitude, and the company of children.
Peace – DEREK