Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16; Proverbs 6:6-11
During the season of Lent, we are taking a break from our Church and State sermon series. We will return to the third part of the Church and State series following our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter. Traditionally, Lent is a period of 40 days where Christians walk alongside Jesus as he journeys towards Holy Week. In order to experience this journey, it is common for Christians to engage in daily acts of self-denial (like giving up chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, or some other indulgence), as well as acts of prayer, repentance, and generosity.
Therefore, during the season of Lent, in an effort to help you focus on your journey with Jesus towards Holy Week, we are doing a sermon series called Seven. You are probably familiar with the idea that in Christianity there are seven deadly sins (even if you don’t know what those sins are). The concept behind this series is that each week we will be examining one of the seven deadly sins and pairing it with its counterpart found among the seven cardinal virtues.
The pairings look like this: Gluttony & Temperance, Envy & Kindness, Sloth & Diligence, Greed & Charity, Lust & Chastity, Wrath & Justice, and Pride & Humility. Thus, the goal of this series is to examine each of the deadly sins individually and how it impacts our lives. We’re going to explore what drives us to engage in that particular sin and how it can destroy our lives and the lives of those around us. Then we will focus on how God helps us to overcome that particular sin by investing in the correlating cardinal virtue.
On Ash Wednesday, Judy began this series by talking about gluttony and temperance. The first Sunday in Lent, TC discussed the deadly sin of envy and the cardinal virtue of kindness. This Sunday, we are talking about sloth and diligence. The word sloth is a translation of the Latin term acedia, which means “without care.” In modern English, the word sloth has become synonymous with being unproductive or lazy.
In American society, laziness is often perceived as one of the worst possible faults a person can possess. Indeed, many Americans believe poverty is always the result of laziness. This basic assumption has undergirded American society since its inception. Most Americans believe that if you are living in poverty, if you are poor, then you are clearly not working hard enough. Your poverty is a direct result of your own work ethic.
This Sunday we are going to explore where this underlying assumption of our society came from, whether or not this assumption is true and why Americans, in particular, see laziness as being so bad. Furthermore, we are going to ask a fundamental question: why does God see sloth as being sinful? I hope you a wonderful weekend. It’s getting warmer outside. Spring is almost here! I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday!