At first such a statement seems ridiculous. I mean the church was facing persecution, you could be martyred, you would be dealing with famine, poverty, and immense struggle. And this is all true. But at least you’d know the enemy you’re facing.
Here is what I mean. In the time of the early church you knew that following Jesus meant that you couldn’t follow the gods of Zeus, the emperor, or Dionysus. Those gods were explicit, seen, and prominent in culture. In essence, those gods were named.
Yet in our culture our gods are just as powerful, pervasive, but are so much more subtle. We don’t think twice about following Jesus all the while working 60 hours for more money, a better office, or new promotion. We don’t think twice about following Jesus all the while filling ourselves with entertainment based on sex, hate, or anger.
The point is that our gods hide in our culture.
So on Sunday we are going to look at how Jesus calls us to follow him and him alone. We are going to name some of the gods around us that vie for our attention and pull our allegiance from Christ the King.
The question I have for you is this: what gods do you see around you?
It’s easy to name the gods of Greed and Sex. But what other gods are there out there? Because before we can resist and reject them, they need to be named.
So take some time and look at our culture, and see who is asking for your allegiance? What demands your time and attention? What gods are all around us that Jesus might say to us, ‘you can only follow one master’?
That’s where we’re going on Sunday. Maybe not the easiest topic in the world, but being prophetic and imagining a different world has never been easy. But often the hardest things in life are the most worthwhile…
The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us. We need to ask if our consciousness and imagination have been so assaulted and co-opted by the [culture around us] that we have been robbed of the courage or power to think an alternative thought.
Walter Brueggemann– The Prophetic Imagination