I had a friend who regularly said, "moderation is for the unmotivated." It's not that he was over the top and grandiose (well, maybe a little). He simply had several niche passions. If something was worth doing, it was worth, perhaps, overdoing.
Moderation is often peddled as a virtue worthy of our pursuit. Certainly self-control can be understood as a type of moderation. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). I find it interesting that the Greek word (egkrateia) used in Galatians 5:23 that is translated variously as self-control, temperance, etc., refers to the virtue of one who masters his or her desires and passions, especially his or her sensual appetites. In this sense, the scope of the word and this fruit of the Spirit seems to be more specific than general.
Could it be argued that to be moderate is to be in the middle? One who is moderate politically, for example, is in the relative middle of the spectrum. Could that position be interpreted as being neither hot or cold, but lukewarm? Is it wishy washy? Maybe (neither yes or no!)? We'll see.
I am grateful God doesn't operate out of an ethic of moderation. To operate out of an ethic of moderation is to function within the limits of finitude. God doesn't have to do that.
What then are the implications for us who have been created in the image of God? What then are the implications for us who have been joined to Christ's death and resurrection in our baptism? Pray and mediate about this.
Now, take a few minutes and read the gospel lesson for tomorrow (sited below). It is the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. How does this parable of Jesus help us understand and appreciate God's amazingly infinite grace, generosity, passion, excess, and abundance?
Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
September 21, 2014
Prayer of the Day
Almighty and eternal God,
you show perpetual lovingkindness to us your servants.
Because we cannot rely on our own abilities,
grant us your merciful judgement,
and train us to embody the generosity of your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
Jonah 3:10 - 4:11