Sunday Shorts: July 9, 2017

Sunday Shorts are a brief rewind of Kaleo's weekly gatherings intended to equip the kommunity to live into what we're exploring together throughout the week.


You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
Exodus 20:3-6

The freed have to learn to be free, learn to live in freedom, and the opening words of our text get at that reality and offer a way into that process [verses 3-5a].

Related to this, in the language of verse three we see that God understands that the prior experience of slavery had formed these brothers ands sisters of ours way of seeing and being in the world. His instruction to have no other gods is something like, "I know that you are familiar with the various gods of Egypt. The gods whose images you were made to fashion into the buildings and various structures associated with the forced labor that made up your days. At the same time, you saw how I defeated all of them as I liberated you. Therefore, choose me, Liberator, and let's head into your free future together."

As we discussed this, we turned our attention to our own lives. While we may espouse various beliefs, various bits of information we've learned about God, we also know what it's like to respond to the gods and idols of our current age. As Shaun Gladding says, "…an idol can be whatever we turn to when we’re in pain. Or when we feel powerless. When we’re afraid. When we’re lonely. When we feel ‘less than.’ An idol is whatever we turn to when we’re looking for security, for identity, for meaning in life. An idol is whatever we turn to that is not the God who freed those people from slavery in Egypt.”

[Action: After talking about this we took time to draw an icon or symbol for the gods we turn to from time to time, and brought those confessional drawings to the table of The Eucharist. We traded in our idols and gods for the One True God, Yahweh, the One And Only revealed in Jesus our Lord.] 

The liberating God extends a deep and tenacious faithfulness to those who’ve been freed. The second half of our text [verses 5b-6] explores that reality and begs the question: Will those who’ve been liberated respond in kind and enjoy the never ending blessing that accompanies such fidelity, or will they revert to their slavery framework like those experiencing The Stockholm Syndrome [Like the Hebrews did in Exodus 32 when they were worried, and built an idol in the form of a calf, quite possibly a copy of the Egyptian god Adis that they would have been quite familiar with.] and suffer the natural consequences of such action?

When we say yes, give ourselves to responding to God's fidelity with our own, we find that our lives are a beautiful contrast to the ways of oppression and bondage all too common in this time and place - both for us and for those we're planted among. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin summarizes this quite well when he says "Through fidelity, we situate ourselves and maintain ourselves in the hands of God so exactly as to become one with them in their [Father, Son and Spirit] action."

Kaleo Church