This Sunday is the last in our series on the 7 Deadly Sins and 7 Virtues. We have been taking these ‘7s’ in no particular order. Nonetheless it comes off as a bit ironical that we should land on Sloth/Joy in the middle of the current COVID -19 pandemic. Sloth in its simplest form is ‘lack of care.’ The beauty of the Cherokee parable we have been using is it suggests that when it comes to ‘sin’ or ‘wolves’ we humans are not operating in either/or categories. Sloth and Joy can come in waves and our circumstances often play a part.
WHAT DRAINS LIFE?
Below is a scripture lesson from the book of Ecclesiastes. Read and spend some time with it. Consider its honesty.
Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What do people gain from all the toil
at which they toil under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun goes down,
and hurries to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south,
and goes round to the north;
round and round goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they continue to flow.
All things are wearisome;
more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
or the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
‘See, this is new’?
It has already been,
in the ages before us.
11 The people of long ago are not remembered,
nor will there be any remembrance
of people yet to come
by those who come after them.
Qs. Can you think of a word that describes the mood of this scripture?
Have you ever felt that way?
What are some things that suck the life out of you?
WHAT GIVES LIFE?
Luke 19:28-38, NIV
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a] “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Matthew 13:44, NIV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his JOY went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
FOR YOU TO PONDER:
1. What gives you joy in life? Do you feel lacking in joy in certain aspects of your life?
2. Do you make time in your day to simply be – to witness simplicity in life, allowing a renewed sense of awe and wonder to bring you joy?
3. Are you able to experience joy out of helping others and being generous with your time, energy, skills, knowledge or financial contributions?