Little children, guard yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21
We arrive again. A season of lights, and celebration of the Light of the World, the Word become flesh who dwelt among us. John’s Gospel and this Epistle point us continually to the Son of God, instructing us to believe in Him alone for eternal life. Yet in an intriguing phrase to close this letter, John seems slightly off-topic as he gives us a caution to keep up our defenses against idols in this world.
We can picture the crude relics once declared “gods.” The shovel of the archaeologist has unearthed these earthly deities in stone, wood, clay, or castable metal. Armed with our “superior” knowledge, we might then tend to dismiss this caution of John as only for those ancient people with their limited understanding. This would be our costly error.
Like then, today’s idols take many forms as well. The competition for my devotion, love and attention is an ongoing event. Though the idols today may be shinier, interactive, and ultra-portable, nothing has changed in the basic definition: Anything that works to pull my allegiance from the Lord and redirect my worship to it can be rightly named an idol.
I’ve become more aware of my conditional worship and tendency to praise the comforts rather than the Creator. Try a third world trip and see how that messes with your view of self and your avowed allegiance to Christ alone.
So yes, John is indeed spot-on in his closing line. Christ is Lord. There is none other. Worship Him, and let nothing approach in your life to move you from Him. And fittingly, in a season to reflect on His Advent, be sure you don’t get taken in by any artificial light.
Blessings, as You worship Him.