March 12, 2009

idol worship

Bishop Mark Dyer says that every 500 hundred years the Church holds a giant rummage sale.

Phyllis Tickle (among others) says the classified ad space has been purchased, and the sale is ongoing.

The lessons for this Sunday say that it is and will be ok.

The OT lesson, the 10 Commandments, reminded me this morning of how often the Church makes idols of things; the Bible (KJV or otherwise), the Book of Common Prayer, collars, vesteture, narthex(es), altar rails, etc.  Because we associate this stuff with the worship of the LORD, it often finds its way into our "sacrosanct" category - the stuff we can't live without.

At some point, however, it becomes hard to discern what we are actually worshiping.  Is it stained glass windows, altar rails, and organ music or the LORD?  If you try to eliminate any of the first three, you'll quickly find that the last is just an innocent bystander.

Jesus turned over the tables in the Temple because the system had become an idol - they went through the motions to get their card punched, and plenty of people were willing to make some money helping others assuage their guilt.

What would Jesus thrash with a whip of cords in our day and time?  What has become an idol?  Who are our moneychangers?


santospopsicles said...

Q: What would Jesus thrash with a whip of cords in our day and time?

A: "Christian" Bloggers?


I'm kidding, but, sometimes I wonder!

Have a good day!


spankey said...

fulltime, master's educated, ordained clergy?

BillMurrayIV said...

I just closed a church in Memphis (long story). The good and faithful members were far more upset that the aumbry, railings, and altar had been moved than almost anything else.

By the same token, the church that moved in had no concept of the sacred. God is so completely OTHER that I have to wonder how you can worship or relate to such an absent, distant being.

I think you are right about Jesus wanting to overturn the "idol" worship of sacrifice/assuaging guilt found in the Temple. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is also proclaiming that he is that open, present, accessible being.

Finding the sweet spot in between is the hardest part of being a Christian. Great food for thought. Well said, my friend.