Scripture: Matthew 21:1-13; Luke 18:9-14
During the season of Lent, we are doing a sermon series called Seven, where each week we are examining one of the seven deadly sins and pairing it with its counterpart found among the seven cardinal virtues. Last week we talked about wrath and justice. This Sunday, Palm Sunday, we are talking about the last sin/virtue pairing with the deadly sin of pride and the cardinal virtue of humility.
Although we are talking about pride as a sin, pride is a very interesting word in our culture because it has both positive and negative connotations behind it. The primary place in American culture where we find a good connotation for pride is when one takes pride in their work. If you do something well, particularly when it comes to your work, then you are permitted to feel a certain amount of satisfaction or pleasure from your achievements. You’ll even hear people say, “You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.”
But pride is a tricky thing. You can be proud of what you’ve done up to a certain point, but if you take too much satisfaction and too much pleasure from what you’ve accomplished, then your pride will quickly fall into the category of vanity and egotism. You can be proud of your accomplishments, but your pride needs to be tempered with a fair amount of humility.
Like so many of the other sins we have discussed over the last several weeks, there’s a very fine line separating the sin from the virtue. What we are exploring this Sunday is where the line exists between pride and humility. When exactly do you go from being proud to being arrogant, and how does one take pride in their own achievements while also being modest and humble?
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ journey to the cross. I hope to see you not only on Palm Sunday, but at our Seder meal on Maundy Thursday and our Service of Darkness on Good Friday. Peace and blessings to you and your family!