Sermon thoughts for Lent 2

I am not preaching this Sunday, because I’ll be savoring an ongoing sermon series offered by my brilliant colleague, the Rev’d Melody Shobe. Still, I had occasion to do some thinking about the lections assigned for this coming Sunday. I was asked to supply some sermon notes for a resource offered by Episcopal Relief & Development. Check out their full portfolio of Lent resources. If you like this snippet of what I offered, you can get the rest here.

When Paul writes about people whose “god is the belly,” he refers to our elevation of our own immediate gratification above our deeper relationship with God. It is interesting to note that the World Health Organization reports 1.6 billion people overweight, while the United Nations World Food Programme reports one billion people who are undernourished. If those of us in the developed world reduced our consumption, we would be healthier (thus taking care of the bodies God gave us) and there would be more resources for others. According to the University of Arizona, Americans waste 50% of all food that is harvested here. In addition to the spiritual cost of placing our god in our belly, there are real costs for our own health and that of others around the world. Do we sometimes find our “god is our belly,” either through our food habits or through other habits of consumption (electronics, cars, clothing and so on)? What would it mean for us to live differently? Could we be healthier and closer to God?

These are fantastic readings this Sunday. But then again, I almost always think the readings are fantastic material for preaching. That’s the Word of God for you.

Image from the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

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