I realized it’s been a hot sec since I put a blog post out, so here goes. For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot this week about idols. What are some of the idols the world tempts us with? Money, power, success, fancy clothes, big houses, nice cars. But there are others: drugs and alcohol can be an idol…hate can be an idol…thinking you’re better than someone else can be an idol. Even the church can be an idol…the building can be an idol; the same old same old can be an idol; a doctrine or belief can be an idol; an outdated tradition, mission, or ministry can be an idol. We do a great job of making idols in the church.
If we value anything more than our relationship with God or serving God, it’s an idol. And the choice we are asked to make is, which god are we going to serve? Following Jesus means making tough choices…it means giving up the things of this world and following God’s higher way…it means binding ourselves to God through service, worship, and love. It means trusting in a God who loves us, cares for us, and nourishes us so we can take on the challenges of a lost and broken world…so we can embrace “the other” because we know what it means to be “the other”…so we can be in the world, but not of it.
One of my favorite theologians, Walter Brueggmann, puts it this way: “The prophetic tasks of the church are to tell people the truth in a society that lives in illusion, grieve in a society that practices denial, and express hope in a society that lives in despair.” Choosing to serve God means embracing “the other.” It means setting aside the ways of a world that doesn’t value “otherness” and recognizing the value and worth of all people no matter who they are, where they come from, what they’ve done, or who they love because they bear the image of God just like you and me. The choice is ours…but as for me, I will serve the Lord.