Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gluttony of 7 Deadly sins part 2

But in the fifth century when the deadly sins were decided upon it was all about food, because when the members of this small communities were off in the desert, food often was scarce, and when they had it well you can see how the sin became a sin. Bob says in his big family, if you didn’t grab your food first, someone else would get it for their bellies. I picture in the orphanages there was a lot of grabbing of food, and so kids learn how to hide it, hoard it, or get it. Food fight has a different meaning to those kids. There was a concern in those early communities that the food would take the place of God, the relationship with God, destroy the person, and destroy the community. Beginning in the 6th century with Gregory the Great and on through Aquinas and the Middle Ages, there were understood to be five main branches to the sin of Gluttony; eating too soon, too much, too avidly, too richly, and too daintily. Do you hear that word “too”, it is the trademark of gluttony.

You and I have to eat to survive and live, just as the early Christians did, and others have to do. Yet, when we look at it it is a natural thing gone bad,. Overeaters Anonymous knows this and treats it as a disease just as alcoholism and any other addiction. Paul wrote about it in Philipians 3:19 this phrase talking about the enemies of the cross, “whose God is their belly”. You can see how easy it is when you don’t have enough food that you begin to worry when the next morsel is going to come. But for us it is the question is Your belly, the excessive needs of your belly, only your needs of your belly what is important to you and has it become your God. In Overeaters Anonymous, they call it a spiritual disease and they would agree with Paul it is about your God being your belly.

In the movie Narnia, which some of you have seen, and by the way is out on video and dvd now and I recommend viewing. is a good example of gluttony. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the character, Edmund Pevensie, personifies gluttony, the sin of excessively using things in themselves legitimate, normally associated with the appetite, and, in effect, making one's belly the god he serves (Phil. 3:19). Jadis, the White Witch, exploits Edmund's weakness when she meets him in a snowy woods, offering him a warm drink and Turkish Delight, his favorite candy. From the first bite, he is hooked, for each "piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious." As she pumps him for information regarding his brother and sisters, he readily replies, driven by an insatiable hunger for more and more Turkish Delight: "At first Edmund tried to remember that it is rude to speak with one's mouth full, but soon he forgot about this and thought only of trying to shovel down as much Turkish Delight as he could, and the more he ate, the more he wanted to eat, and he never asked himself why the Queen should be so inquisitive" ( 32; all references to the Narnia stories are from the Collier edition, 1970).

Edmund's gluttonous desire has deadly ramifications, for later in the tale, after he has betrayed his brother and sisters in order to obtain more and more Turkish Delight (which, ironically, he does not receive), Jadis demands his life by invoking Deep Magic: an ancient Narnian law that entitles her to the blood of any traitor. And while Edmund is saved by the intervention and intercession of Aslan, the cost is deadly to the latter. Lewis' point in emphasizing Edmund's gluttony is to illustrate vividly the effects of sins in general and this sin in particular; over indulgence blinds us to the truth, turning us inward, making us slaves to our own insatiable desires.

Do you hear that, what Lewis says over indulgence in anything blinds us to the truth, turns us inward and makes us slaves to our own insatiable desires. And Lewis is right. When I have been deep in my own gluttony it has blinded me to the truth, it has turned me inward and made me a slave to my own insatiable desires, one is never satisfied, and I have been there. Believe me Satan knows our very weakness, just as Jadis knew Edmund’s and will come at you at that point, starting with one little bite, one little need, one little purchase of your favorite item until that is all you see, all you desire, you all in all.

Perhaps it is in a way the sin of America, we consume more food than the rest of the world. We consume more petroleum than the rest of the world. Bush called it our dependence on Petroleum. And part of the price we pay, is our own bodies, in weight gain, diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, damaged knees and backs from bearing too much weight. We pay the price of having then to purchase new clothes in bigger sizes, medications for what ails us, surgeries to correct the problems caused by the weight or surgeries to correct the weight, diets, diet organizations, gyms and fitness items, bigger chairs to sit in, beds to sleep in, bigger and bigger, I read where they are now having to make bigger car seats because we now bigger infants and kids, not all due to this problem, but some, or wheel chairs or rascals to get around, or if you are in your disease more money for more food. Now do you see how this sin begins to grow and effect you and others. And that is why it is one of the deadly sins now. It will kill you, and if it doesn’t kill you, it will destroy your life, your relationships, your true God.

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