June 12, 2016: Be Proud. Be You. Be the Church.

Posted on : Jun 9th, 2016 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

If you want to see something really depressing, click on this Google link: “Pride in the Bible.”   You’ll find anywhere from 30-58 scripture verses referencing “Pride” and not one of them is positive!  That is very sad.

Obviously, we Christians have a big issue with “Pride.” In the Bible, Pride is most often associated with sin. In fact, “pride” was granted first place in the now famous list of “Seven Deadly Sins.” How did this come about?

The seven deadly sins, also known as the cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices. Behaviors or habits are classified under this category if they directly engender other immoralities. According to the standard list, they are hubristic pride, greed, lust, malicious envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

This classification originated with the desert fathers (and desert mothers), who were early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt beginning around the third century AD. So, from the late 200’s A.D. “Pride” was named as a bad virtue.

The “seven deadly sins” were not and are not specifically listed in the Bible. Like many other practices in Christianity, they grew from “tradition.” However, you will still have to dig very deeply to find anything positive about self-pride in the Bible.

Well, that is until now. As we say in the UCC (United Church of Christ), “God is Still Speaking!… so listen up! The UCC has just developed a whole new series of bold “proclamations” in our God Is Still Speaking 2.0 series. Each is being published in usable graphics for 21st century Christians and social media. The one for this Sunday is above: Be Proud. Be you. Be the Church!

Thank goodness our religious family of faith is finally allowing God to speak a new and needed word about pride. It’s past time. But, what we’re now saying about Pride is not really all that new. It’s found in the wisdom of the Psalms. The writer of the 139th Psalm said this:

Oh yes, God, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
Psalm 139:14

And so on this Sunday when we celebrate LA Pride, we will celebrate our uniqueness, our goodness as we rejoice in “Being Proud. Being YOU. Being the Church!”

Blessings,

Dan

 

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Psalm 139:14-16

From The Message

Oh yes, God, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.

I thank you, God—you’re breathtaking!

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