Ya gotta worship something, says NT Wright, in this hour plus long Veritas forum video. We think of 'worship' and stained glass windows or lively charismatic people with arms waving or some other venerable scene comes to mind, but worship simply means giving worth to something.
In other words, one can often get a good idea of what they worship by looking at their checkbook...well, online bank statement nowadays, since checkbooks are becoming more and more a thing of the past.
He talks about the Big Three:
Mars: the god of power and war
Mammon: the god of money and greed
Aphrodite: the god of erotic love.
Although we don't identify them as 'gods' in todays sophisticated society, we pay much tribute to them in big and small ways, even and up to the point of sacrificing our lives to them.
Worshiping the Creator God in whose image we are made, looks very different (and should look very different) than worshipping other gods.
Wright explains that our twofold function as humans made in God's image is (1) to reflect God's wisdom into His creation and (2) to sum up and bring the praises of His creation to Him...
I think that is an accurate (though not elegant) description of what he said.
When we worship any THING other than our Creator, the one who we were created to worship and reflect, we de-humanize ourselves. You become like what you worship... if we worship power, then that distortion becomes internalized and we begin to look at people thru a lens of 'how can impose my will upon them?'. Everything in life becomes about power and then competition and then lack of trust and then broken relationships and then broken life...
Whether its money, sex or power, the end result of giving our lives to any of these results in LESS love, less life, less humanity.
But the opposite is true as well. When we give our lives and worship to our Creator in who's image we were made, we find that we become more human, more giving...more like God.
LIKE God...not God. We were made to be LIKE him...but He is the source...He is the alpha and the omega... from Him and to Him and through Him are all things...we are just privileged enough to be given a life to spend in our King's honor.