We began this series on the 7 Deadly Sins and 7 Virtues back on February 23rd.  Since then the scenery of our lives has been changing rapidly.  One of the tools we have been using is the Cherokee parable of a grandfather telling his grandson about the battle that goes on inside each one of us.  The winning wolf will be the one we feed. The COVID – 19 pandemic has altered the playing field of our lives. It also has the fresh potential to expose our characters.  This Sunday we turn our focus towards Pride and Humility.

Pride: What’s the harm?     (from Carl)

Psalm 34:1-10,  James 4:1-10   

In a culture that promotes self-esteem and a pull-yourself-up by-your-own-bootstraps mentality, our first impulse may be to question if Pride is really such a deadly sin after all. Isn’t confidence and a strong sense of self healthy and valuable? So let’s explore why James tells us that God “opposes the proud”. Let’s reflect on why the Church’s early wisdom included pride on the deadly list. 

Q’s for reflection…

            Some say that if the list of deadly sins were to be ranked, that Pride would be one of the highest. Why do you imagine that might be? How have you experienced pride’s deadliness, in your own life or observed it’s effect in others?

            What is it about pride that separates us from others or keeps us from co-operating with God’s work in the world?

Humility    (from Blaine) 

Consider these two scripture lessons.

Philippians 2:5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross. 

Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father

Matthew 6:1-6

‘Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 

‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 

‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Qs.  How would you go about defining the difference between a celebrity and a saint?

        What do these lessons say about motives?