Prepare for Worship: Notes for services on March 15, 2015

Seven | From Gluttony to Gratitude

Corey Widmer on Proverbs 23:20 & John 6:30-35

For Meditation

Gluttony could be defined as an excessive appetite for food, drink or pleasure in order to keep God at bay. Whereas Sloth can be seen as a loss of appetite for God and his Kingdom, gluttony can be seen as an intensified appetite for the wrong things, things that do not ultimately satisfy.  

The ancients condemned gluttony and included it on the list of Seven not because of what it does to the body, but what it does to the soul. We all carry a vacuous God-shaped emptiness inside, and food, alcohol and pleasure are easy ways to temporarily fill the vacuum and keep God at bay.  

In a society in which God is dead, sex and food are some of the easiest ways to get a sense of fulfillment when true transcendence is missing. This often results in depression, meaninglessness, addiction and boredom. Instead, Jesus offers us through his own denial, first in the desert and then later on the cross, to give us true and everlasting fulfillment, to right our twisted relationship to food and drink and pleasure, so these things can become joyful parts of life rather than distorted ones.

About the Series

“Seven | Finding Freedom from the Darkness Within” is a Lenten sermon series on Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony and Lust, known for nearly 1500 year as “the Seven Deadly Sins.” A couple of factors make this traditional accounting of sins “deadly.” One is that our society has tended to glamorize these sins and even made them into virtues; another is how unspectacular they are. These are incredibly ordinary, pervasive propensities that are so rooted in our nature that we tend to not even notice them. Or if we do, we may rationalize them, such as calling greed “healthy ambition” or gluttony “a deserved reward.” These sins are the roots of so many other distortions that prevent us from living as the people Jesus died to make us become.  In focusing on these sins during the season of Lent, we are inviting Jesus to do some surgery on our souls, asking him—together—what darkness may be hiding in our hearts that we may be ignoring or rationalizing, and opening ourselves up to his transforming love.

For a full description of the series, including week to week schedules, click HERE.

Learn Together

STUDY GUIDES for this sermon will be available on Sunday afternoon, with audio being added on Tuesday morning, both found by clicking the banner image for the sermon on the homepage.  We encourage all small groups to use these resources to foster self-examination in community in addition to privately, and as a way for our whole church to be participating in this season of preparation together.