Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.
Jesus, from the Gospel called Luke, chapter 4
The complete readings for this Sunday can be found at
Worship. Interesting word. Essentially, it means “to recognize and to acknowledge the worth of”. So, that raises the question: Just Who is this God that we worship? What is this God like? What is the image of this God that we hold in our hearts, in the church … and is this image indeed worthy of worship? The danger, of course, is that God can very easily become an idol … we know this by human experience.
We know how easily good can turn to evil, light to dark, love to indifference, compassion to hate. We know how we feel, as individuals, as a people, when this happens: to put it simply - miserable, afraid, heartsick.
The Collect speaks of a God Who “knows our sins”, and is “mighty to save” … because that’s what Judaism and Christianity essentially proclaims, despite the horrific ways that the Bible and it’s God have been made into an idol of anger, judgement, and punishment. Most psychologists and spiritual guides will tell you that such things rarely lead to “salvation”!
Deuteronomy reminds us that God seeks to “bring us home” to a “land of milk and honey”. Idolizers have sttempted to make us think that that means some physical “home”. I don’t think so. God desires us to find that “home” at our core that is the place of light, joy, love, peace. Showing us our unloving ways (sins) yet loving us unconditionally is the path God points us to.
Psalm 91 reminds us: Because you have made the LORD your refuge, and the Most High your habitation, There shall no evil happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. Again, the reminder that when we live in the presence of Divine Love, we turn our backs on the dark.
Paul, in Romans 10, reminds us that Jesus is an image, an icon, of this worthy God, and that if we follow His Gospel, we have chosen a worthy path to wholeness and freedom.
Worship the Lord your God; serve only God.
says Jesus to Satan. The message of Lent I is simple: Know the true nature of the God you follow, and worship only this God. Reject all idols.