Idols

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Little children, keep yourselves from idols,
Works of our own hands. Voices–our voices–
Call us to cast off all righteous bridles,
Chastise us for limiting our choices.
Choose you then this day your lord, your master.
Choose the voice you trust above all others.
Choose the path to life, avoid disaster.
Heed the voice of reason, sisters, brothers.
Learn distrust of self, for self is often
Led astray by varied vices. Passions
Harden hearts to truth. Consciences soften,
Filled with fleshly fears and fleeting fashions.
Build upon the only sure foundation.
Idols only lead you to starvation.


Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash

Holy Alteration

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You save us from idolatry
Through disappointment.
The call to bear the killing tree
Is healing ointment.
“Take up your cross and follow me” –
Divine appointment.

We do not know the depths of sin
Within our being.
We fight against but cannot win;
But you, all seeing,
Stepped into time to work for men
Eternal freeing

From forces that devise the fall
Of your creation.
Depravity common to all
Met its damnation.
Now hear, all broken hearts, his call:
Propitiation.

In you, we hope. For you, we wait.
You are provider.
You know our weakness, our estate;
Your grace is wider.
You bear our sin and fix our fate,
Divine divider.


Photo by lee Scott on Unsplash

Christmas and Idolatry

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Last week, I wrote that the word of God discerns in us what we fail to discern ourselves, and I tried to show how this cutting work serves to draw us nearer to God. But what do we do when God reveals idolatry in our hearts? How should we respond when God highlights some object or dream or comfort or person and reveals to us our unhealthy attachment? The answer, I think, lies in how we understand gifts.

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Misdirected Worship


We are a people prone to adulation
Who often are audacious with our praise.
Provoking conflagration, we
Resist all abrogation. See!
The idols are the masters of our days.
Such worship is a devastating blaze.
Idolatry is no anachronism;
All ages suffer its asperity.
Discern the serpent’s schism. See
The apposite baptism. We
Reject apocryphal authority
And trade acerbic lies for clarity.

The Subtle Subversion

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Perceptions of obedience to Christ
Are often apprehended by our hopes.
And flesh, the lowly subject, turns to heist,
And seeks to send the true service to the ropes.
For in our work for heaven, we presume
To warrant some promotion, pleasure, prize.
Desire conceived breeds sin within the womb.
The idol soon is fixed before our eyes.
Conviction then gives contest to the beast,
Reminding us that God is not so poor.
And we, in comfort, trust that he will give,
And see our Maker merely as a door.
Through subtlety the serpent can subvert
A heart for holiness to lust for dirt.

O Heart Like That of Jonah

Is anger justified in you
Who sees your plans frustrated?
Who feels your life berated?
Whose choices are debated?
Do you do well to take the hue
Of anger in your manner?
Of squalor as your banner?
And rage against the Planner?
Are there no better fights to fight
That you should mourn the passing
Of selfishly amassing
These treasures unsurpassing?
Are you so blinded by the night
That fleeting follies fill you?
That Jesus does not imbue?
That you forget your rescue?

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