Monday, June 7, 2021by Reverend Dan on June 7, 2021
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;”
John Calvin is pretty famous in Christian circles.
He was a French theologian and from his church in Geneva, Switzerland was one of the “Fathers of the Reformation.” His theological system of beliefs became known as Calvinism and the origins of the Presbyterian Church can be found in that system. (He also wrote a three-volume set of books called Institutes of the Christian Religion – I had to read them in graduate school. They were the forerunner of Ambien I think.)
Anyway, he once said, “Man’s nature is a perpetual factory of idols.” Idols back in his day were images carved out of wood or stone, but you don’t need those things anymore to create an idol. An idol is really anything that takes our focus off God. (That’s one of the cornerstones of Calvinism – the absolute sovereignty of God.) And in our fast-changing world, the reality is that as soon as we get rid of one idol, we create another one in its place. Idol factories – I guess that hasn’t changed much in the last 400 years.
Even – maybe especially - the church has to be careful not to create an idol out of itself. All too often the God we come to worship is replaced by the things and ways we worship. Buildings and landscaping, ornate crosses and gold offering plates, communion sets, traditions, rituals . . .
All those things are good. They are blessings and gifts from God and help us to remember “from whence we came.”
But. They cannot become the focus of the worship and replace the God in whose name the church was built; or His Son, whose blood it was built on.
We have a God who commands us to love Him with all of our heart and mind and soul and strength. If we do that, that leaves no time for idols.
What are the idols in your life that are keeping you from this greatest of all commandments?
Eternal God help us to remember that the only thing worthy of our worship and praise is You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.