Monday, August 2, 2010

Homily 10: Signposts and Shadows (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken unto my voice, and Israel would have none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own counsels." Ps. 81:10-12

God will give you your heart's desire; and if you will not have Him, then you will have what is less than Him. If you will not have the vacation at the beach, then you will have the mud in the slums. There is nothing else. There is nothing higher than God. All else is a mere copy or shadow, a signpost meant to point to the Source. Woe unto you if you confuse the two! The instant that we take the shadow for the substance, divorcing the two, the shadow loses what life it had. It withers and dies like a flower plucked from the earth.

The things of this world are real, and their glory and beauty are real. However, their reality, glory, and beauty are all a product of and dependent on the Reality, Glory, and Beauty of God. They are sparks shed from His infinite flame, and what fire they have dies quickly. Thus, they can never satisfy, though many pitiful idols have been made out of their smoldering remains. They were never meant for worship; their purpose is to point to the true Object of worship. Like the moon reflects (and therefore implies) the sunlight, so too the things of existence reflect (and imply) the God who is there (Romans 1:19-20). They are to be enjoyed, but only because of what they reveal of God. Any other consideration (no matter how initially innocent) will lead us astray.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2010


  1. I've been thinking along the same lines lately. Were you inspired by Inception?

  2. Actually, no. This post is really the summation of things I've believed for awhile, even before college. It's just taken me this long to express it this succinctly.

    Inception was awesome, though.