Our Lenten Journey: No other gods

Reading: Exodus 20:1-17

Scripture: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20: 2-3)

Reflection: I find these words reassuring, as they remind us that God is as real today as He was in the time of Moses.

Growing up in a Christian family, these verses of Exodus always stood out for me, as a child, as I imagined God, as portrayed in the movies, giving instructions to a fearful Moses, as He declared: “I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD”. God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and the people he was leading out of slavery in Egypt, stood below and watched and listened to the only things they could see and hear  – lightning and thunder. But, in the midst of all that lightning and thunder, God spoke to Moses and gave him the Commandments. God’s first words set the tone and affirmed His identity and authority; “I am the Lord your God”.  I brought you out of Egypt. I brought you out of the house of slavery. Therefore, “you shall have no other gods before me.”

Is God first in our lives or are there  distractions? What are the other gods in our lives? Where then, do we place God in our lives? As we engage in this period of self-examination, we should ask ourselves these questions, and take the time to hear our honest answers. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we will acknowledge that we are all guilty, to some degree, of creating little gods for ourselves. While it may not have the image and likeness of a statue, we do know how important our activities, habits, traditions, food, possessions, gadgets and devices, jobs, family or children, can be to us and how these things can be elevated to the status of “gods” in and of our lives. We know only too well how easily we can become slaves to these little gods of ours.

Just as God said to Israel, so He still says to us: “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.” His command is clear. As we reflect on this first Commandment, we must remember that the God of Israel should not be just one on a list of gods to be worshipped; He is the One True God, the giver of all the gifts that we enjoy, the only One God!

And, as did Moses, so must we place our faith, trust and confidence in God, secure in the knowledge that He will deliver us from our bondage of sin and slavery that we experience when we pay homage to the false gods that we create. God loves us, cares for us and provides for us. He gave us the ultimate gift of life so that we might have life abundant.  He calls us to be His people, and to represent Him in the world. He is the Lord our God who deserves our worship and adoration.

Meditation: How can I make God always first in my life?

Prayer: Dear Lord, as I consciously re-submit my life to You, help me to always place You at the centre of my life, above all else and above all others. Amen.

The St. Jude’s Writers

St. Jude’s Church

Stony Hill

Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands

08 March 2021