Lent – 40 day ‘Retreat’ – Day 4 – Naming Pride

 

‘those who exalt themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be exalted’

 

Yesterday we thought of how Pride keeps us from confessing our sins, one to another, how we are lured into keeping them ‘just between God and ourselves’

Lent leads us into much fuller discernment of Reality, not least of that which is going on, or rather who is truly our Father. Jesus’ time in the desert was not a ‘time alone with God’. As we hear in the Gospel for Sunday, Jesus is driven into the wilderness ‘to be tempted of the devil’, and tomorrow’s sermon will unpack this further. For now let us just note that we live in an age which we have become perhaps more blind than ever to ‘the devil and all his ways‘, to the point where some churches are considering whether to remove references to ‘the devil’ from their baptism rite. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy

What was the sin of the devil that led to his fall from heaven? Pride! When the disciples come rushing to Jesus declaring ‘even the demons submit to us in your name!’ His rebuke is the gravest of warnings, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven!’

Satan is also the Father of lies, the one who turns our head away from the Life giving word.

‘confess your sins one to another that you may be healed’

The evil one leads us a tragic dance, away from the Word to our own rationalisation. ‘I do not need to do this, I can keep this between God and myself’

Pride traps us through deceit. But we think we are free, we feel comfortable in its company, it keeps us ‘safe’, indeed in the echo of our closed heart we may even call him our father . . .

Pride has a name

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