Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009 "You are what you eat"

“You are what you eat.” “Eat it today, wear it tomorrow.”

Two expressions that quickly capture to truths. First, what we eat affects our health. Second, how much we eat affects our health.

Food is essential to life. But too much of the wrong kinds of food, or too much food period actually become detrimental to life, and can even shorten our lives.

Recently our local paper told of a young man, a hit man for a drug gang, sentenced to death for two murders. After killing his teenage victims, he collected some of their blood and drank a toast to “Santa Muerte”, “Holy Death”. Santa Muerte is the invented God of many of the drug cartels.

Worship is not just fun and games. It shapes our being. Today’s lessons from Jeremiah and Romans and John, raise the issue of feeding our spiritual life. To paraphrase the expressions above. “You are what you worship.” “Worship today, wear it tomorrow.”

Jeremiah uses metaphorical language, comparing God’s people to a wanton woman. Many had ceased to worship the true God. We forget or perhaps don’t know that many of the local Caananite gods required temple prostitution, and child sacrifice. God’s people began to give their sons and daughters up as prostitutes and sometimes sacrificial victims.

In Romans, Paul catalogues the behaviors that afflict us when we worship false Gods. Wickedness, evil, envy, murder and a whole catalogue of others follow.

In John, a lame man is made well. But when Jesus finds the man in the temple, he challenges him to stop sinning. But the man, who has received a great gift of healing, runs to the authorities to tell on Jesus. The man’s body has been healed, but his heart is hard.

The good news is that in all three lessons, God calls his people to return. God calls us to give up the things we worship. God asks us to soften our hearts and let him back in.

The gods of this age are easy to see: greed, sensuality, apathy, coldness. Does my worship lead me to generosity, self sacrifice, action, charity?

When I come to eat the Lord's supper, do I pray "Lord, make me what I eat. May I eat and drink today, and wear you tomorrow."?

Finally, do I pray for those who have gone astray, like the young man I mentioned above? God is still working, seeking the lost. May our worship lead us to do the same.

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