One does not tend to hear many sermons on the Seven Deadly Sins: Avarice, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Pride, Sloth and Wrath. And why that is the case is possibly a point to ponder.
Certainly in our wider society the idea of sin, any idea of sin – deadly or otherwise – is almost redundant. The prevailing motif is no one can tell me what to do, I will do what I like, nothing is today sinful. Meanwhile for us in the church we have been burnt with the experience of our brothers and sisters in the faith being judgmental, of being very critical of others and condemning them to – well, eternal damnation. Certainly as a preacher it is problematic to preach against sin- because in one’s heart one asks “who am I to speak of human failing and sin?’ As we might say – but for the grace of God go I? As a consequence we, in our brand of Christianity, have tended to downplay sin, the power of sin – and have ended up not talking about it much – and certainly sin as catalogued in the Middle Ages, as the Seven Deadly Sins.
I think we are the poorer for this – but today, being the first Sunday of Lent – a season traditionally of reflection on who we are and our relationship with God –and with this art exhibition around us – we are going to do it. Read more →