7/11/2011

Stop coveting what is not yours!!!

Sunday July 17th, Isaiah 44: 6 "This is what the LORD says— Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Does that mean no other gods up in heaven or no other gods here on earth? All the words for god in all the languages and in all the religions speak of an idea of god or gods. Today I see little issue with the idol worship of other gods, up there so much as our dedication to power & money, the little gods down here. There is no other God but God, means all the power & money is only that, power and stuff down here. Someday the plug will be pulled and the stuff will be of no further us. But even after the plug is pulled, either on your own life or on all life, God will still be God. It was easier to identify the little gods when little wooden figurines were carried around and placed on altars. Now the other gods make up the possessions in our pockets, homes and garages, bank accounts and dreams, and computer screens. And what makes it confusing is that everyone has stuff, and not all stuff, all our things are gods. What makes it even harder is that the stuff that is a little god for me might not be for you. The little godness is not in the stuff, but in our hearts. Therefore it is not a matter of worrying about someone else’s stuff, to them it may just be stuff, what we need to deal with is the godness of our own stuff as well as the godness we see in other peoples stuff we are trying to control. All too often the do-gooders in our churches trying to control other peoples stuff are less controlled by less driven by altruism than by envy. I refer you to the last two commandments and Luther’s explanation of them. Stop coveting what is not yours!!! What does this mean? We are to fear and love God so that we do not desire to get our neighbor's possessions by scheming, or by pretending to have a right to them, but always help them keep what is theirs. We are to fear and love God so that we do not tempt or coax our neighbor's spouse or workers, but encourage them to remain loyal. Perhaps that last one should read, we will not be tempted to shut down our corporations or ship the jobs overseas but remain loyal to the children of God who work for us.

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