Monday, November 9, 2009

Worshipping the Works of Our Own Hands

Lord, in the first chapter of Jeremiah you spoke a word expressing the brokenness of your heart because the people "worshipped the works of their own hands." You were speaking of their hand-made images and gods, yet I wonder how often we, or I, do the same.

Our own creativity becomes our own push to achieve, to get somewhere in life, to mean something to somebody, to be noticed. I make music, write, preach, and lead programs and ministries. When I am at my best, it is simply to serve with the gifts you have given me. When I am at my worst, I am more attentive to the work of my own hands than in the work of your Spirit.

I live in a culture that worships the work of its own hands. We admire those who are "self made" and we value people based on what they produce. Even church leaders beyond the local level seek to solve the delimmas of the modern church by pressing everyone to work harder or fix our problems, rather than praying that you, oh God, will open our eyes to what new thing the Spirit is forging. We are fixated on our own hands, Lord, and our hands our too full to receive your gifts.

In chapter 9 of Jeremiah, you invite us to become a people who do not boast in our own wealth or power or wisdom, but to "boast in this, that they understand and know me." You are our Lord, you are the source of all love and justice and healing. You delight in being known more than in the work of our human hands.