Sunday, December 12, 2010

Who are you worshiping?

"Little children, keep yourself from idols."

This last verse of the book of 1 John was the subject of this morning's sermon. Perhaps it may seem like a strange text for advent, but the conclusion to my pastor's series on 1 John was tied in beautifully to the message of "Angels from the Realms of Glory" -- "Come and worship Christ, the newborn King."

I found myself incredibly convicted this morning, especially by the definition given for idolatry. To paraphrase what was said this morning, idolatry happens when the absence of anything makes me doubt God's goodness. In other words -- if I am sick, and that makes me doubt God's goodness, my health has become an idol. If I require anything beyond salvation to believe God, I have become guilty of idolatry.

Another, perhaps more subtle example of idolatry was pointed out in my philosophy class just last week. Can't philosophical systems become idols as well? My philosophy professor raised this question, reminding us students that philosophers, by nature, claim to have the answer to the way the world works. Whether it be Descartes or Kierkegaard, empiricism or rationalism, a philosophical system explains everything... even God's actions. It's very easy for that philosophical system to start not just describing how God acts, but defining it. In essence, we can easily elevate a system as an authority over God, creating an idol of our own intellect.

So -- the question I've been pondering all afternoon: Who am I worshiping?

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy

P.S. -- Listen to Pastor Worley's sermon, entitled "Idols," here:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

incarnation in song :)

Take a moment and stop, in the busyness of December, to reflect on the reason we celebrate. Isn't it the simple, beautiful truth that God became man? When you think about it, the story of Christmas gives us reason to contemplate and celebrate one of the most integral parts of our faith. Focusing on Jesus at Christmas shouldn't just mean getting warm fuzzies and singing lullabies. It should mean remembering that the God of the universe chose to wrap Himself in the form of  a tiny baby -- then, now, and forever fully God and fully man.

I've been reflecting on the incarnation lately. With preparing to lead worship back in the country on December 26, and getting ready for our Christmas concert in the city this weekend, I've been filling my mind with the lyrics of solid hymns -- O Come All Ye Faithful, What Child Is This, Angels from the Realms of Glory, to name a few.

A contemporary song has been added to the mix. While I first heard this song on the radio a few years ago, I've grown incredibly attached to it this semester. Joy Williams's "Here With Us" is one of the most beautiful portraits of Christ's incarnation in song. It's not full of big theological terminology, but rather focuses on the simplicity of the mystery: God, now man, "here with us."

Listen to it here. You'll be glad you did.

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy