Jeremiah 2:4-19

Photo of a church stained glass window by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

“But my people have traded my Glory for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.”

It was the late nineties and I was working hard at raising support to join the staff of a campus ministry. This particular man that I was connecting with took me to a gathering of people from his church to introduce me to them. As we were driving he was explaining to me that the day of small churches was over. He said that little churches would soon be swallowed up by the biggest churches in the area because the large churches had power and resources that small churches could only dream about.

It's more than twenty years later and it turns out that his prediction was wrong.

For a while, I thought that he was perhaps correct. But, then the mega-church paradigm began to implode. Scandal after scandal. Pastor after pastor has fallen.

Small churches are not immune from this either.

As I read about colleagues falling and ministries breaking down it appears to me that there is a common thread. Jeremiah might call it “empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.”

The American church has entangled itself with power and consumerism. In so doing it has sold its soul, in a sense, to a modern day Baal.

As a pastor there is a constant and never ending pull towards bigger and better. I feel it in my soul. It's an illness.

But then I read about what has happened in the past when the people of God have sold their souls for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes and I am reminded that I don't need to trust anything else. I can rest in the goodness of God. As Paul says in his farewell to the Ephesian Elders God is incredibly and extravagantly generous.

The question I will be meditating on today is this, “Will I scheme for success or will I rest in God's grace?”


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