Sunday, August 12, 2012

What are our idols?

My pastor preached on Sunday a really good sermon about worship. He challenged us to think about the  things we worship instead of God. I had a few things I thought we could add to the list:

  • Power. Most of us want to feel like we influence the world, like we can change it. And while we sometimes want to change it for the better, usually we want to change it for our own benefit. We want to manipulate the system so that we come out ahead. It's so easy to justify the use of power, thinking we're going to make a positive change. But Jesus said that real power was in humility, in emptying yourself. 
  • Status. Whether it's our fanatic working out, our desire for perfect houses/lawns/children/pets or our ambition to get ahead at work, we're usually very concerned about what others think about. We worship what other people think about us.

But I think the #1 thing the average middle or upper class USAmerican worships instead of God is comfort. We go out of our way to be comfortable, in our homes, in our communities, in our churches. Rarely are we willing to sacrifice something of comfort in order to seriously follow Jesus. We want the (perceived) comfort and safety of an easy life--no suffering, no pain, no difficulty. We've come to expect it, for ourselves and for our children.

But the call of Jesus--the call of worship--is the call to come and die, to paraphrase Bonhoeffer. It is the call to the cross, to pick it up and carry it, a rather inconvenient, uncomfortable thing. It is the call to forget status, to forego power, and to serve, no matter the cost.

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