During the summer I have been preaching without notes. That isn’t unusual or really very hard, except that we use multimedia. I use 15-20 images during a sermon, which means that transitions are critical if the next image is going to make any sense. Yesterday I talked about the relationship between greed and discontent. Originally, it was but a brief part of my sermon, but I suddenly realized how seriously those two things are connected, so I spent more time talking about it then I intended.
Discontentment has its positive side, yes, but it also eats at us when we are unable to be content with what we have, or where we are, or even who we are.
I Timothy 6:6-10 says:
Actually, godliness is a great source of profit when it is combined with being content with what you already have. We didn’t bring anything into the world and so we can’t take anything out of it: we’ll be happy with food and clothing. But people who are trying to get rich fall into temptation. They are trapped by many stupid and harmful passions that plunge people into ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
Of course, none of us think we love money, but the truth is when we can BUY what we want or need or crave or desire then we are in love with money. We have faith in it to meet our needs. We trust it to make us healthy, happy, satisfied, and content.
Americans have bought the lie that we can have it all, do it all, be all we need. We can’t. That is true only for God. When we are so discontented with what we have, or where we are, or who we are, we become greedy and want more. We want what others have. That state keeps us from being content with where we are at this moment; ungrateful for what we have been given; and dissatisfied with who God made us to be. That kind of greed/discontentment is the original sin.
The parable of Genesis tells us that God gave us so much, but we just couldn’t be content. We wanted it all. We wanted to be like God, so we can’t be happy being us.
Rev. Michael Piazza