CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

April 8, 2011

Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Envy #4: More Themes From a Scattered Garden


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

LENTEN STUDY: 7 DEADLY SINS

ENVY #4:

MORE 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)

ENVY #4

MORE THEMES FROM A SCATTERED GARDEN

SCRIPTURE: 10 The Lord has made me very grateful that at last you have thought about me once again. Actually, you were thinking about me all along, but you didn’t have any chance to show it. 11 I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. (Philippians 4:10-12 (CEV))

DEVOTION: It’s that time of year again. Garden catalogs fill my mailbox on a daily basis. Vegetable, perennial, annual flower seeds are shown off in magnificent color and bountiful abundance.  Each company promotes at least a dozen new varieties, and I look upon their offerings with a desire to try them all.

     I don’t care if that watermelon can only be grown in the Deep South. The picture of the ripe, juicy melon taunts me as I look out the window and see the fresh blanket of six inches of snow.  Sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, crisp green beans—all these pop off the page. I want them all on my dinner table by this evening.

     In my impatience I know that I will start my seeds too early this year, again. I know I will look at

trial gardens, and over at my neighbors’ yards wishing my garden looked like theirs.  I know that a trip to the Farmer’s Market will bring out the green in me as I see the bounty of the vendors.

     Envy is a difficult sin. It tempts me to reject what I have been given, and instead draws my attention to what I am missing. If Paul were a gardener, he would have looked at his garden, and seen that it was good, a gift from God, and that would have been enough for him.

PRAYER: Eternal God, our ever ready source, put our attention to how much you have provided for us, and help us celebrate when you put more in our neighbor’s hands. Amen.

*The Rev. Bill Pieringer is pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church in Ligonier, Pennsylvania

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To read the previous devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Greed #4: What Profit Do You Seek?

To read the following devotion, click on: Lenten Study: 7 Deadly Sins—Anger #5: Only Jesus’ Way

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ADDITIONAL READING:

January Catalogues Lead to June Gardens

Carolyn’s Photographs for Sale

Memories in a Bank and Three Chairs

Robert and Janet: Nowy Targ Holocaust Survivors

My Husband’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

Rhode Island: Part 1

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