What’s your idol?
Martin Luther defined God as whatever your heart trusts, and if he’s right, I’ve a number of idols. The human capacity for progress and discovery, for one. Tim Winton’s ability to write a character that I’m going to want to buy a beer. Heck, Tim Winton himself. Idols all.
Actually, if that is the working definition of an idol, I’m also a total atheist. I know I’m fooling myself if I think that human beings are just going to progress until all problems are solved. If nothing else, this past year has demonstrated the human capacity for regress. Some days, human decency, progress, science, are just the best we can do when our best isn’t good enough.
Idolatry is the central theme of our texts for this Sunday. What do we trust? It’s also going to be the kick-off of our stewardship campaign, one of our primary methods of idol-smashing. Money and wealth provide security for us, and so they easily become idols. It happens all the time. You can see it even in the way our society seems to evaluate policies and priorities in government: is it good economically? Does this policy help people get wealthier? It’s the economy, stupid.
Our stewardship campaign, and our faith, helps us see that we might be stupid, but the economy we care about is the economy of faith: the beauty of individual human beings, our compassion for one another and for the whole creation, the benefits of sacrifice, evaluating our endeavors on their faithfulness to the good news of Jesus Christ and the well-being of the whole creation.
So, come by on Sunday and smash some idols. It’s good for your soul.
The Reverend John Flack