From Pastor Mark’s sermon on Easter Sunday: We live in an age of entitlement, narcissism, and inflated egos.  Everything is about and for me.  This is not a reflection of who Jesus is.

From the Prayer for Peace:  It is in self-forgetting that one finds.

Paul tells us in Philippians 2:3 (ESV) Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

God didn’t make us to receive the glory for using the gifts he gave us.  Does the canvas get credit for the artist’s work?  Does the pen get the credit for the author’s story?  These are only tools, so they get no credit for the accomplishments.  Neither should we.

In the 23rd Psalm, we see who should receive the glory – “Then I shall fear no evil.”  Why?  “Because You are with me.”  “Your rod and Your staff comfort me….” 

We may be the canvas or the pen but we are not the ones who deserve the applause.  And just to make sure we get the point, right in the middle of David’s poem, he tells us who does.  The Shepherd leads his flock, not for our name’s sake but for whose?  His name’s sake.  But sometimes we get caught up in this comparative pride game because that’s the insidious nature of Satan, who tries to get us to judge others in efforts to show that we are better.


To get the point across regarding some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and treated others with contempt, Jesus used a parable in Luke 18:9-14 describing the difference between someone who exalts himself and one who humbles himself. Rather than putting someone down to make ourselves feel better about who we are, our prayer should look something like this: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.  Like my brother on welfare, I’m dependent on your grace.  Like my sister with AIDS, I’m infected with mistakes.  Like my friend who drinks, I need something to ease my pain. Have mercy on me, a sinner. 

Let’s be forgetters of self and finders of love, joy and peace.

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