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Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the I AM that had been thrown down.1 Kings 18:30
The altar is in ruins. It doesn’t take long to make a ruin. Perhaps you’ve seen recent video segments of Chernobyl, deserted twenty years ago because of a nuclear catastrophe. It’s amazing how quickly it’s all decayed.
Christians, we must beware. This message is clear. Those folks that Elijah was talking to were in a perverse slavery to evil false gods – gods that demand child sacrifice and self-mutilation. You might ask me, how can our altar be in ruins today? How is this a warning to us now? Tell me, what’s the state of your heart? What’s the substance of your life of praise, or the praise of your family? We have our ruined altars today – neglect of the cross and praise of Jesus Christ. That’s what all those altars were meant to be to begin with – little pictures of Jesus and His grace.
There might be a lot of religion around, and there might be religiosity everywhere. Perhaps there’s lots of skepticism and doubt. What must be constantly “repaired” with “upkeep” is proclaiming of Christ’s death on a cross for sinners. Jesus loves sinners with His blood. This altar has been in ruins in the church today. Let us rebuild it in our hearts, in our families, and in our community. The Son of God came into the world to save the worst sorts of people. Me.