The Louvre is a museum in Paris that is home to some of the greatest masterpieces in the world. Originally built as a palace for the kings of France, it covers more than 40 acres and contains over 8 miles of galleries. In all, it houses over a million works of fine art. One of them is Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, arguably the most famous painting in the world.
Because the Louvre contains such priceless treasures, it is protected by the most sophisticated security system in the world. Can you imagine what would happen if a vandal broke into the Louvre and drew a mustache and glasses on the Mona Lisa? I can guarantee you it would be the lead story on every newscast in the world. And it would be a tragedy of epic proportions.
Actually, something much worse than that has happened, but you won’t hear about it on the news.
God’s glory has been desecrated.
He, of course, is not a work of art, but he is the ultimate in perfection. He is the highest, the greatest, the holiest being in the universe. He is our Creator and our Redeemer. He is the Almighty God. And some have desecrated his glory just as surely as if they had taken a Magic Marker and drawn a mustache and glasses on his face. How have they done this? By making him less awesome, less intimidating, and less demanding….and more familiar, more friendly, and more easy-going.
You know who these God vandals are. They’re the people who don’t feel comfortable bowing before the majestic God of the universe, but don’t mind having a good buddy in the sky to bail them out of trouble. They don’t really want to lay down their lives for the Lord as living sacrifices, but they’d sure appreciate it if he’d answer their prayers whenever there’s something they want.
And so they have undertaken the systematic reduction of God. They (and I’m including a lot of pastors and theologians) are whittling him down to size so that he’s less demanding and more lenient. Like pranksters with a Magic Marker, they are transforming the Masterpiece into a cartoon.
Of course, this is nothing new. The French philosopher, Voltaire, who was an agnostic, described our generation as well as his own when he said, “God created man in his own image, and man has returned the favor.”
What about the God you serve? Is he the man up stairs, or the Lord of the universe? Your buddy or your Master? Your Santa Claus or your Savior?
Is that a Magic Marker in your hand?
For further reflection read Isaiah 55:8-9.