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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grateful Patience.... or just in looking for another Idol

It seems that Americans are somewhat obsessed with celebrities, superstar athletes and famous persons. This fact is so true that we all seek to become famous and (stunt) flaunt our money or success in front of the world. If you don't agree then how do you explain the multitude of Idol shows. Shows like American Idol which gross profits in the hundreds of millions every season. But that's not the only one there are many other dance, talent, reality, wife swap and survivor shows. We look to idols for security, leadership and as role models.

Therefore my question for this week is are we grateful for what God has already done in our lives, are we grateful for current blessings and the struggles that we have already come through? Are we faithful enough to be patient and wait on God's leadership or are we just looking for the next idol or big thing to lead us and give us any old answers and make us feel better for the moment?

Let's focus on Exodus 32: 1-8 four our scripture of reflection today

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 2Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ 3So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4He took the gold from them, formed it in a mould, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ 5When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.’ 6They rose early the next day, and offered burnt-offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.

7 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; 8they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”

Our society has much in common with the Hebrew people in the text. When Moses had been gone a while the people wanted a new Idol. They had forgot what God had accomplished for them through Mosses. How quickly we too forget how good God has been to us during times of hurt, pain, illness or uncertainty. When things seem dark and dismal we easily dismiss the good in our lives.

Instead of using that time to reflect on the good things God had done for the Hebrew people, like bringing them out of Egypt, providing water from a rock, providing manna from the sky, parting the red sea and more they wanted a new idol. Moses time away could have been spent praising God and giving thanks through worship expressing their gratefulness even though they did not know the next move. In the African American Church tradition many church mothers on any given Sunday morning could be heard shouting "God I know you ain't brought me this far to leave me now". Meaning that no matter what is going on today and what tomorrow holds I know God you are good because you brought me this far, and for that I'm grateful.

Hezekiah Walker a great pastor and musician has a song out called Grateful, the first line of this song says " I am grateful for the things that you have done, yes I'm grateful for the victories that we have won. I could go on and on about your works. Because I'm grateful so grateful to praise you Lord. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart... is Gratefulness."

Even though we have trials, and issues in our life as those who believe in God and have faith in Christ, we have to be patient and allow God to lead and work in our lives. In even what seems to be the worst of times I challenge you to take those times to reflect on your gratefulness for God and all that God has done in your life. Have grateful patience flowing from your heart and know that God has not brought you thus far to leave you but is still providing even then.

As Christians and proclaimers of the Good News of Jesus we have to display grateful patience, especially in a world where most are just looking for another idol. We don't worship idols but love God.

Be Well today, Love Pastor J

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