first commandment

In the book of Jeremiah God is angry at people because they loved, served, went after, sought out and worshiped other gods (Jeremiah 8).  God is angry because the very first command is that we should love the true God above all things.  Love and respect is the root of all true worship.  Serving is another aspect of worshipping and we will serve that which we love.  We see in our situation up here in the North country an interesting phenomenon.  We have people that will not go to church if there are one or  two snow flakes rubbing themselves together in the sky, and yet they will pack up the children and get in the van and drive 300 miles through a blizzard to go to a hockey game.  That is the very definition of serving a “god”.  It is also the definition of “going after”.  When folks realize that some of this service is pleasant they look for more and more of it.  They seek out the company of more and more of these “gods” and the company of fellow worshippers.  The folks mentioned in Jeremiah worshipped these false gods which someone said means “withholding no proof of their devotedness”.  God was angry because they should love Him, serve Him, go after Him, seek Him, and worship Him.

The human being apart from God will always go after a god in his or her image.  The marvelous thing for the mass of humanity is that God pulls off the great reversal.  He loves us.  He serves us.  He goes after us and seeks us out.  Jesus said he came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom.  He came to seek, to go after the lost, and by his death he withheld no proof of devotedness.  This is the definition of divine mercy and grace.  It is the impetus for our life of mercy and mission.