Love over Ego

From Rev. John Odhner, Assistant to the Pastor
September 18, 2018

Many of the characters in the Old Testament represent the Lord, even though they often did some bad things. A few stand out for not only their spiritual representation but also for their moral character, such as Joseph and Daniel. This year our Journey campaign considers the first six chapters of the book of Daniel, including the familiar stories of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and Daniel’s friends in the Fiery Furnace. Part of our goal is to see that we are all Daniel. That is, we all can be the kind of person who trusts the Lord, hold true to our ideals, act with courage, and show kindness to others, even in the face of fierce opposition.
In order to be that kind of person, however, we also have to recognize that we are all the King of Babylon. That is, we all have in us a tendency towards selfishness, superiority, contempt for others, and anger at those who do not do what we want. That is, like Daniel, we face challenges to our love for the Lord and for other people, yet our challenges come from within us, from the hells working to make our ego more important than love.
Our ego (our sense of self or our proprium) serves a very important use as long as love is in control. With a healthy sense of self we have clear intentions and goals, and become proactive and take initiative to reach those goals. We value the good qualities the Lord has given us, and strive for self-improvement so that we can have a greater impact on the world and be more useful.
When love is not the top priority, then ego takes control and gets out of control, and then we have to deal with the fiery furnace and the lion’s den. Overcoming ego can be tricky, because we cannot do it on our own. We absolutely need the Lord’s help, yet we have to act as if we were overcoming it on our own.
This is the goal of our Journey campaign. Not that we can overcome ego in six weeks, but that we might get a better map of the journey we are on, and that we might give each other help and support through our current stages of that journey.
This is an excellent time to come to our kick-off event, Yoga and Interactive Workshop, on Thursday, September 20, at 6:30 pm. To join a Journey group, contact Bronwen Henry (, 215-947-6225 x271) or visit for a listing of groups. You can purchase the book, Love Over Ego, at the Pastor’s Office or Cathedral Bookstore to follow along with our series of six messages starting September 30.

Read more messages from the Pastors