Devotional/Discussion thought of the day:
(From Today’s Adult Bible Study – Special thanks to J!)
•3 “Worship no god but me. 4 “Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. 5 Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the LORD your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation. 6 But I show my love to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey (keep/treasure) my laws. Exodus 20:3-6 (TEV)
Presently in our Sunday morning adult Bible study we are looking at the way we worship. The theme is The Dance of the Liturgy, Learning to Partner in Life with God. We are now in the third class – and we were talking about the Choreography of our lives – and focusing on Eph 5:21-24 and Ex. 20. The basic questions were, “Who leads”, “Why do we try to lead”, and “the Steps of our Life – the Decalogue/Ten Commandments. It may be the best study I have ever written and is quite fun. I have the blessing of growing up with parents who were master Ballroom Dance instructors, so I have a few stories…that illustrate things well.
As we got to the first commandment, after talking about the necessity of trusting our Partner as He leads us through life, one of the newer ladies to our congregation spoke up and said something that too me a couple of minutes to process.
“Pastor, the reason we shouldn’t worship and idols is because they cannot lead us through life.”
What a brilliant observation – these idols – whether they are celebrities, or statues, whether they are numbers ( like back accounts) or liquids (alcohol ) or anything else – will fail us. An idol is this – it is what you turn to, when life is stressful, what you trust to get you through the hard times what you credit for the blessings. Often, the idol is ourselves – we think we are God. It doesn’t matter who we create as our “gods”, our “idols” they will fail for the reason mentioned – they can’t lead us, they can’t create out of our missteps something beautiful, and graceful and loving.
They cannot do what Paul instructs men to do, following the example of Christ,
25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. 26 He did this to dedicate the church to God by his word, after making it clean by washing it in water, 27 in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty—pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection. Ephesians 5:25-27 (TEV)
That’s something an idol can’t do – it can’t lead you on the dance floor, or through the dance of life, or even through the dance of the liturgy……
Only God can…. so relax, know the hands that hold you, realized that He created the dance, and He will assure its completion and its beauty….
- The Dance of the Liturgy, Learning to Partner with God (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Hungry for more than Discipleless Christianity (justifiedandsinner.com)
Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day:
1 GOD spoke all these words: 2 I am GOD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. 3 No other gods, only me. Exodus 20:1-3 (MSG)
For the last week, I have been as angry as I can get, saddened by an action taken, that I can only describe as wrong, as a cruel betrayal. From my perspective, the betrayal is heinous, as hideous, and all the more, it was unnecessary for any action to be taken. I am still trying to chart a course that will allow me to speak clearly and confront it, even thought I presume it will not matter.
It probably doesn’t help that in the midst of this, I have been helping people deal with the death of loved ones. Death has a way of putting things in perspective, of causing us to realize how incredibly helpless we seem to be, of how life is still but a mystery, and death, a great equalizer.
As I prepare for another memorial service today, of a man who was one of those guys, that pastors need, someone who allows us to be…human, to be ticked off, to blow off steam and to work together, I started to wonder…
Why do we so need to play God? Why do we expect that we have a right to righteous indignation (are we righteous enough ourselves in the first place?), to strike out with wrath, to get vengeance (and revenge). Haven’t we had to face our own failures? Don’t we realize we deserve wrath? Don’t we gather on Sundays (at least some of the time) to celebrate that we have been shown mercy?
We don’t have to play God – don’t we realize we have One? One who delivers us from truly righteous indignation, the One who has the right to wrath, and would so easily pass on it, so that He could embrace us as His children, give us comfort and peace, and walk with us, sharing every moment of every day, pointing out the blessings that He created, and reminding us that His greatest masterpiece….
Is His people, reconciled to His, made part of His family, welcomed into His presence.
Lord this day, help me contemplate how to address that which has been done that is evil, not to pass judgment on those who took part in it, but to heal its damage, to depend on you to see created an atmosphere where forgiveness is sought, where mercy is dominant, where love prevails.