“I” is for Idolatry (March 5, 2012)

…Opening To…

So daily dying to the way of self, so daily living to your way of love, we walk the road, Lord Jesus, that you trod, knowing ourselves baptized into your death: so we are dead and live with you in God. (Thomas H. Cain, from The Hymnal 1982)

…Listening In…

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 9You shall not bow down to them or worship them (Deuteronomy 5:8-9; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “I” is for Idolatry. The first four letters of the word “idolatry” tell you what the word is all about. It has something to do with “idols.” But the concept of “idol” has changed very much recently due to a certain piece of pop culture that dominates the programming on the Fox broadcast channel. For nearly a decade the show American Idol has been propagating the notion that being an idol is something to be striven for, and, therefore, praising said idol is also a good thing.

Of course, idols are actually things to be avoided altogether. Historically, idols were representations of gods crafted out of materials. The worshippers imbued with a pseudo-divinity the very things that they themselves had made. In this way, while they paid lip service to some semblance of religious observance, they kept the control of their lives at home. They did not seed their personal sovereignty to any sort of effectual deity.

In this day and age, idols are more subtle, and, I think, more powerful. We practice idolatry any time we worship something that is not God. This may be money or power or fame or any number of a host of abstract idols that pulls us away from focusing first on God. We tend not to use the term “idol” because that word has been co-opted by a television show. But even if we don’t name our worship of other things as such, it is idolatry nonetheless. And when we do put other things ahead of God, then we’re breaking one of the big ones, indeed the first commandment.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the only one who inspires me to true worship. Help me cast away all of the things that clamor for that worship so that may turn ever only to you. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, thankful that you continue to shine your light in my heart and mind, that I may continue to know you better through every way that you choose to reveal yourself.

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