Moses and God.
God and Moses.
They argued. A lot. Like an old married couple.
They argue about us, their children.
To whom do we belong?
“Look what your people are doing!” they each said pointing at each other.
Your people! No, your people!
We revel before the idol, the golden calf, forged out of fear because we felt abandoned by God and Moses, who were busy disagreeing with each other.
Moses intercedes, God spares the people, and the hard work of being disentangled from the idol begins.
Idols are sticky things, hard to pull away from.
Idolatry is a major concern in scripture, if you follow the daily readings lately they have been all about idolatry. Idolatry seems to be all over the media and news feeds lately as well.
We always seem to forget to whom we belong.
And we don’t like being reminded.
To whom do we bow and worship? Who is our Lord?
What are the graven and molten images that we set up before us? They are surprisingly hard to find, except in hindsight.
They own us, they enslave, they twist.
We pull away from one and get stuck to another, like walking through curtains made of fly paper, a tangled web.
When they disappoint, when they are challenged, everything flies apart in rage and despair.
Being a child of God in a land tangled in idolatry has its challenges.
What owns us?
To whom do we belong?
Have we forgotten about leaving Pharaoh, about being God’s child?
What idols do we revel before?
Moses and God.
God and Moses.
There is something important about the way they would argue, about being real and true to each other, always being there for each other, interceding for each other.
A relationship not about agreeing with each other, but about being there for each other, like an old married couple.
Sticky clinging idols or the God who brought us out of Egypt, out of bondage, out of the house of slavery? The God to argue and to be in love with forever and ever amen.
Those seem to be the choices.
The crazy parable of the wedding banquet that we hear from Jesus today can be boiled down to, show up and be dressed for the occasion, or be really disappointed.
It is a very anxious parable. It reads like a bad dream, an anxiety dream.
Like when you get invitations that you don’t know what to do with them so they sit there until it is too late. The kingdom of heaven is like that. An anxious invitation with consequences.
Not a peaceful thing, it challenges our idols, it cuts us loose with a freedom to which we are unaccustomed. Freedom in a world that is full of wonderful and terrible things.
The revel of idols or the revel of the wedding banquet, turning on each other or showing up for each other?
Show up, don’t be owned by idols, be thankful for the gift of being freed from slavery from that which turns us against each other.
The ministry of being God’s children is about inviting others to show up for each other as we are disentangled from the idols that rule this world, offering something else, the ministry of reconciliation, of thanksgiving, of showing up for each other.
Our pledge drive for 2018 has begun.
It is about so much more than fundraising. It is about setting the captives free, being disentangled from sticky idols.
Show up for each other.
Like Moses showed up for God.
Like God showed up for Moses.
Like how they both showed up for their people, arguing, like an old married couple all the way.