All of our society seems to be steeped in idolatry of some sort. Let me see if you agree with this. We have professional sports teams in major cities. Within these teams there are some outstanding athletes that are say, on a major league baseball team, and throughout the metropolis you see fans wearing team shirts with these players names and number. If you attend the game, a particular player comes to the plate and smashes a home run, the whole stadium erupts in worship and praise of this players accomplishment. Hands are lifted in honor, dancing and singing, chanting, laughter, and tears are even shed. A baseball game, wow.
Um...let me see, there's Matthew, M...
Our idolatry isn't exclusive to the world of sports. The film industry, wall street, politics, and the music business all have their icons as well. They receive glory and praise just as much as the sports world. The Christian world has it idols too. Many have preacher religion. Some follow their favorite evangelist from town to town. The local church often talk about their pastor as though he is Jesus. If you asked the average Christian, "how has the life of Jesus affected their life, they can give you some sort of answer. If you asked them if they knew how many books in the Bible are about Jesus, the answers you hear will amaze you. The answer, by the way is 66, every book is about Jesus...haha, gotcha!
All kidding aside, we who follow Christ are often unaware of the idols we erect and honor ahead of God. We are so engrossed in the dictates of our society, the push, push, and rush aspects of day to day living that we do not realize our negligence of diligence to our relationship with the Father, until we face a major trial, calamity, or through a sermon. How do we know what things are stealing our allegiance in service to Him? Do we really have to ask? Does the children's sports or activities cause us to miss services regularly? Do we skip fellowship or opportunities to serve others, visit someone in need, or the sick because we don't feel like it? We all do. These all are evidence that we all do put God second to our personal needs and desires.
"This is the way it is with you. God's kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed." Matt.21:43-44 MSG the words of Jesus
Advent has become a time of the arrival of the latest technology, the latest fad, the going to extremes to see that the kids have a good Christmas, meaning, a bunch of stuff that they will forget about in a week or so. Seriously, if you pointed out last years gift to a child and ask who gave them that gift, they would probably not remember. If you asked them who was born on Christmas day, would they say Santa? Do we really need to question if He is first? I do not. As I type this, my mind thinks of all of the areas I move without thought of Him, or live busily and omit time in fellowship with Him.
"For in Him we live, and move, and have our being"...Acts17:28 NKJV
Fools for Christ's sake
We have a God who gave His best, a Savior that did not hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and won a game. No, He left the splendor of the heavens, and came to rescue mankind from eternal separation from the Father for our utter rejection of Him. He banished our sin, and gave us rights as sons and daughters to enter into the throne room of God Himself with boldness and present our needs to Him...and He shows us mercy. That dance that we do at the ball game, the laughter and tears for our team, chanting, singing, throwing up our hands in victory...all of this man worship belongs to the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ the Righteous!
Advent, the real notable, Jesus came for you. And He has come in this moment for you and I to see Him ahead of every task, every chore facing us. Nothing compares to His exceeding great gift of unselfish, unconditional love He displayed by His arrival and gives to us daily.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!