SERMON TITLE: “The Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath”
SERMON TEXT: Mark 3:1-6 and several other verses (see end of sermon)1
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: March 15, 2020, at First UMC
Back in January, when I was planning for Lent, we were just beginning to hear about the Coronavirus in China. As I read and heard about their quarantines, I realized that the word quarantine comes from the Latin word for 40. That was a perfect analogy for Lent, I thought, since Lent is the 40-day time of purifying oneself in preparation for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Just as a 40-day quarantine was intended to limit and heal sickness, it seemed appropriate that our Lenten theme this year would be limiting and healing us from “The Seven Deadly Sins.”
When I made that plan back in January, little did I know how real this Lenten parallel would be by mid-March. When the Coronavirus was just in China, it seemed fairly abstract and distant. But now that it’s here in the United States and Utah, it feels a lot more relevant. And now that the virus is closing down of all kinds of gatherings and events—including worship services and classes in our church—yikes! Here we are today holding worship over Facebook Live, or you may be reading this sermon in print, because—out of the need to contain, limit, and stop this virus from killing us—we are having to take this COVID-19 very seriously. Otherwise, while most of us would probably survive it, many would not.
And just like the Coronavirus can be deadly to our bodies, so can sin be deadly to our spirits. That was the point of the classical list of The Seven Deadly Sins that has been passed along since the fourth century. So far in Lent, our church has discussed Gluttony, Sloth, and Envy. Today, we’re going to think about the deadly sin of Wrath.