Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sun. Sep. 23, 2012 (Kevin Hiebert)

On the first day of fall, Kevin Hiebert spoke on ideas from James 3-4, the epistle reading from the day’s lectionary. James, in his customary straight-forward manner, asked his readers to face the problems of “greed, envy and wrath” (three of the seven deadly sins) and “lying, cheating and stealing”. His point is that these bad behaviours are driven by our selfish desires, and that by contrast, God asks that we bless others through acts of selfless respect. Dan Ariely (Duke University) recently published an interesting book entitled, The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty: How we lie to everyone -- especially ourselves (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012). Kevin drew on the book’s examples and tentative conclusions to give illustrations of people being urged by greed (for example) to tell lies in the hope of gaining personal benefit. One interesting phrase in James (3.17) is that we should be “willing to yield”. This is ideally the art of politics, as well as the art of living in community, in family, at work. Being “willing to yield” is the opposite of trying to get ahead at all costs. James reminds us to scrutinize our actions and motives. How do others see us (especially when they find out the truth) and how does God see us? [JEK]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 using your browser's preferred media player.



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