I have always thought fascinating the words of Paul among the Greeks, that in every way “they were very religious”. Human beings naturally are religious, it is just that they are perverse and so is the worship they offer. Christmas was always the time when we as preachers could get on the high horse and pound the ground of the sin of materialism as the Savior of the World lay in a manger. It was an easy target. We could go after the low fruit of the glitz, glammer, and indulgence; attendance at Christmas Eve and not during the rest of year; lack of stewardship in the midst of plenty, and so on.
I’m spending time with T.S. Eliot the poet who converted to Christianity in 1927. His poem “The Rock” posits a much more dire malady on which we preachers are starting getting a handle. From a multitude of Gods to no God at all is daunting. Here is Eliot –
But it seems that something has happened that has never happened before: though we know not just when or why, or how, or where.
Men have left God not for other gods, they say, but for no god; and this has never happened before.
That men both deny gods and worship gods, professing first Reason, and then Money, and Power and what they call Life, or Race, or Dialectic.
The church disowned, the tower over-thrown, the bells upturned, what have we to do But stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards In an age which advances progessively backwards?