CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 29, 2011

Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Gluttony #3: Themes From a Scattered Garden


LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS

GLUTTONY #3: THEMES FROM A SCATTERED GARDEN

The Rev. Bill Pieringer*

 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)

GLUTTONY #3

THEMES FROM A SCATTERED GARDEN

The Rev. Bill Pieringer*

SCRIPTURE: “Therefore do not worry, saying what will we eat? or what will we drink? or what will we wear? ..indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Matthew 6:31-33)

DEVOTION:  Feeding the birds at, this time of the year, is a popular activity in Western Pennsylvania. The one problem many bird feeders face, however, is the ever present, ever persistent efforts of the gray squirrel. Anyone who has ever watched a squirrel atop a bird feeder knows a little something about gluttony. They don’t stop until they have cleaned you out.

     Over the years we have “squirrel proofed” our feeder, though it hasn’t been easy nor cheap. We removed a deck from which the squirrels would jump to our feeder. Then we purchased an aluminum cylinder that prevents the squirrels from climbing up the 4×4 post. Next came the chicken wire that we stapled over the sides of the feeder to prevent squirrels from sitting upon the feeder’s ledge. 

     Yet because we feel badly for the squirrels during the winter, we always spread seed, and cracked corn around the base of the feeder upon which the squirrels feed. 

     A few Saturdays ago, I woke up to see a squirrel looking through our bedroom window—which wouldn’t seem strange if it weren’t for the fact that our window is twenty feet above ground level. This squirrel had scaled our house. I guess it was hoping to launch itself off the house and onto the feeder. This would require a miraculous effort given that I estimate the distance from the window to feeder to be a good twenty to thirty feet – twelve feet out and 15 feet down!

     All this effort and risk while there was a good supply of seed scattered around the feeder for an easy meal. 

     Gluttony, and our efforts to achieve or gain more, often will have us do odd things in order to achieve more. Like the squirrel in the window, we are enticed by a prize that we can see. We’ll consider extreme efforts, and will be tempted to push our physical, emotional, and spiritual limits in order to get more.

     And like the squirrel, in our efforts to get more we are apt to miss the blessings that the One has already provided for us. We will not see what is provided if we are always searching for more.

PRAYER:  Gracious God, you provide for us every day. Yet we think we need more. Let us be more aware of what you provide for us each and every day. Amen.

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*The Rev. Bill Pieringer pastors Calvary United Methodist Church in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

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To read the previous devotion, click on: Lenten Study: Seven Deadly Sins—Lust #3: A Tragic Cover-up Plot

To read the following devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Sloth #3: Not Nurturing Others

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ADDITIONAL READING:

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

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

Battling Squirrels at Bird Feeders III: Types of bird feeders

FERAL BIRDS: THE LATEST COMMUNITY HAZARD

Eliminate feral birds: A call for political action

BLACK FLIES AND OTHER INSECTS: Then and Now

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