The beginning of man's pride is to depart from the Lord; his heart has forsaken his Maker. For the beginning of pride is sin, and the man who clings to it pours out abominations. Sirach 10: 12-13Once again, we have words of inspiration from the Book of Sirach that were read at Morning Prayer just a few hours ago. What did Adam and Eve do that was so wrong? They disobeyed God and tried to make themselves equal to Him. That is pride. They departed from the Lord, and in their pride welcomed sin and death into the world.
When we believe that we know better than God; when we believe that we are smarter than God; when we believe that we no longer need God; that is when our pride gets the better of us and will certainly destroy us. In our world today, we think that we can control life at its most fundamental levels. Modern science has given us the ability to look into the very genetic code of a person and determine whether or not that person will be healthy, disabled or susceptible to disease. We are becoming so used to playing God that we can decide which child should be allowed to live, or should be aborted because it might not be healthy enough or might not meet the standards of the family or of society.
There are nations around the world, and states right here in the United States, which advocate and facilitate euthanasia for anyone who doesn't feel like living another day. In our pride, we have forgotten that life is a gift from God, and it is wrong to try to rescind that gift whether the recipient is in the womb, in a hospital bed, depressed or in a nursing home.
And, Dear Reader, I will also go so far as to say that this gift of life extends to those who have by their own actions and their own lack of regard for life sit in a jail cell awaiting their end at the hand of the state. Life is a gift of God that is given to all people. Those convicted of heinous crimes may have sacrificed their freedom and their privilege to live in society, and they should pay accordingly for their crimes; but their ultimate punishment shall be meted out by God who is infinitely more up to the task than us.
We are not equal with God. We cannot do God's job. If God wanted to take a vacation and needed someone to cover his desk for him for a few days, He would not call one of us. We live our lives one day at a time, completely dependent on His Love, Grace and Mercy whether we realize it or not. How much better will our lives be if we acknowledge this, appreciate this, and strive to make ourselves into a people whose hearts are fixed on God, our Maker.