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Men and women are constantly tempted to make idols. The first and second commandments prohibit this because idols will twist and distort our lives (Exodus 20.1–4).

Psalm 115

1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
    for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness.
2 Why should the nations say,
    ‘Where is their God?’

3 Our God is in the heavens;
    he does whatever he pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold,
    the work of human hands.
5 They have mouths, but do not speak;
    eyes, but do not see.
6 They have ears, but do not hear;
    noses, but do not smell.
7 They have hands, but do not feel;
    feet, but do not walk;
    they make no sound in their throats.
8 Those who make them are like them;
    so are all who trust in them.

9 O Israel, trust in the Lord!
    He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!
    He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!
    He is their help and their shield.

12 The Lord has been mindful of us; he will bless us;
    he will bless the house of Israel;
    he will bless the house of Aaron;
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord,
    both small and great.

14 May the Lord give you increase,
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

16 The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,
    but the earth he has given to human beings.
17 The dead do not praise the Lord,
    nor do any that go down into silence.
18 But we will bless the Lord
    from this time on and for evermore.
Praise the Lord!

We make gods in our own image from wood or stone or precious metal, and we worship them. We make gods of other people – the way the word ‘idol’ is used today – and pursue the cult of fame and fortune. We make idols of ourselves and shape our lives to build our reputation, to gain followers, and to bring us glory.

Psalm 115 reminds us once again of our place in the universe. The world does not revolve around us. God is the creator. To God belongs the glory, not to us.

As we end the Lord’s Prayer with ‘the glory are yours’, we offer our worship and acknowledge that we are not the centre of the world.

As you look back over your life, where do you see yourself making idols. What has been the effect of this?

Living God,
defend us from the idols which our hearts enthrone,
that we may not go down into silence
but be raised to our heaven of heavens
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer after Psalm 115

Do an online search for the Peruvian Gloria and learn it. Make some simple shakers or drums to accompany your singing. Maybe you could record yourselves singing to share with other people in your church or family.
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Reflections from the Church House Publishing Pilgrim Journeys: 40 Days of Reflections on The Lord's Prayer written by Steven Croft are copyright 2019, 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.

Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2020 The Church of England, All rights reserved.

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