CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 24, 2011

Let’s Kill Him


CAROLYN’C COMPOSITIONS

LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS

GREED #3: LET’S KILL HIM

MONTE W. HOLLAND

INTRODUCTION

     The following study is a journey through Lent, the forty-day pre-Easter season (which excludes Sundays).  Easter’s date, determined by the time of the first full moon after the Spring equinox, is very late this year.

     Traditionally, many Christians use Lent for self-examination and a renewal of their commitment to their faith.

     This year I  chose to do a devotional study on aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins, sins identified by very early Christians as key behaviors separating man from God and God’s will. The seven sins are not listed together in the Bible—each is, however, spoken about in various Scripture sites.

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THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

GREED, ENVY, ANGER, LUST, GLUTTONY, SLOTH and PRIDE.

THE ASPECTS OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ARE:

#1 Breaking the Mosaic Law

#2 Defying God or rebelling against God

#3 Acts of violence to others

#4 Failing to make proper sacrifices or worship

#5 Not living up to or reflecting God’s glory (not living as one created in God’s image)

GREED #3

Let’s Kill Him

SCRIPTURE: 5 They lend their money without charging interest, and they don’t take bribes to hurt the innocent. Those who do these things will always stand firm. (Psalm 15:5 (CEV))

33 Jesus told the chief priests and leaders to listen to this story: A land owner once planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it and dug a pit to crush the grapes in. He also built a lookout tower. Then he rented out his vineyard and left the country. 34 When it was harvest time, the owner sent some servants to get his share of the grapes. 35 But the renters grabbed those servants. They beat up one, killed one, and stoned one of them to death. 36 He then sent more servants than he did the first time. But the renters treated them in the same way. 37 Finally, the owner sent his own son to the renters, because he thought they would respect him. 38 But when they saw the man’s son, they said, “Someday he will own the vineyard. Let’s kill him! Then we can have it all for ourselves.39 So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Jesus asked, “When the owner of that vineyard comes, what do you suppose he will do to those renters?” 41 The chief priests and leaders answered, “He will kill them in some horrible way. Then he will rent out his vineyard to people who will give him his share of grapes at harvest time.” 42 Jesus replied, “You surely know that the Scriptures say, ‘The stone the builders tossed aside is now the most important stone of all. This is something the Lord has done, and it is amazing to us.’ 43 I tell you God’s kingdom will be taken from you and given to people who will do what he demands. 44 Anyone who stumbles over this stone will be crushed, and anyone it falls on will be smashed to pieces.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these stories, they knew Jesus was talking about them. 46 So they looked for a way to arrest Jesus. But they were afraid to, because the people thought he was a prophet. (Matthew 21:33-46 (CEV))

 DEVOTION:    Greed can hurt.

     Greed takes many forms. Greed often moves resources from needy persons to those who already have more than enough. In extreme cases the needy person may die for lack of food and shelter. Greed that moves resources from one person or group of persons to another person or group of persons by force leads to violence and even loss of life.

     Our parable from Matthew spoke about those who refused to fulfill their part of a bargain, renters who did not share their crop with the owner. It started out violently and grew progressively worse with each emissary that was sent. Finally, the greedy renters saw their chance to profit beyond the growing season. When the son of the owner came they killed him, anticipating that they would be able to take over the vineyard permanently.

     The story is about greed, but also about Jesus. Jesus was announcing that the Pharisees and chief priests would even kill the Son of God in an attempt to keep what the owner, God, had put under their stewardship.

     So, too, God reminds us that we are stewards. We can’t take it with us. What is the sense of getting so much, especially with violent means, when we turn it all over at death? Oh, sure, we can pass it to the next generation, for the cycle to start all over. I like the cartoon that shows a hearse with a trailer hitch and a U-Haul trailer attached heading into the cemetery. We would do violence to others for that?

     In this Lenten season we take time to examine our actions. With finances so central to our everyday life and with times difficult for so many, greed often creeps in. Are there financial choices we make that make life harder for others? If so, what are they? Are there financial choices that we can make that will make life easier for others? If so, what are they?

PRAYER:  Loving God, there is something about money that flips a switch in many of us. We seem to clutch it tightly like a life line. Give us generous hearts that see money for what it is, only a medium of transferring from one to another the blessings that you give to us every day. Amen.

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To read the previous devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Sloth #2: God’s Way or My Way?

To read the following devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins: Envy #3: When War is the Answer

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ADDITIONAL READING:

ABRAHAM, SARAH, HAGAR and sons ISHMAEL and ISAAC

THE AMAZING BEAVER

Battling squirrels at bird feeders I: to fight or join them

A BLUE BUTTERFLY and STAR GAZER LILIES

ARCHIE & MEHITIBLE

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