Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What we worship and does it matter?

What do we worship?

Early this morning, I met with Christ Church's Men's Group for breakfast, a short scripture reading and prayer.

The gospel lesson came from today's Daily Office reading, Luke 4.1-13, Jesus' temptation in the wilderness just after his baptism.

With each temptation, the Devil, in effect, asks Jesus, "Whom do you worship?"

The word translated here as worship comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon word, "woerth-ship." And the meaning of the word is that to which human beings ascribe ultimate worth. That object is that to which we devote our attention, our energy, our time, our money––every human or material thing of value.

What do we worship?

For the answer, we might go online and examine our bank and credit card statements. They will tell us where we spend our money and, thus, what we value materially.

We might look at our calendars, which tell us how we spend our time.

And, as I suggested to the men this morning, we might examine our online search histories and the ads that pop up on Facebook and on other social media, when we log in. These messages do not randomly appear but do so for a calculated reason: because Facebook and Google and other sites have profiled us and communicated our clicks and visits to advertisers. (I used to be in the PR, ad and marketing business and know something about how these businesses operate.)

Where does our cyber trail lead? What does our overall profile––gathered from social media, calendars and financial statements––tell us about who we are, whose we are and what we worship?

And will the object of our worship save us now and save us eternally?

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