sunset over the ocean
ULC Minister Jeanette Harlow gives her perspective on idol worship.

The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC Minister Jeanette Harlow. All members of the ULC community are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to sermons@themonastery.org.


I recently read someone’s perspective that honoring mother Gaia is somehow Idol worship. I was surprised. I recognize that we all have our individual perspective. That there are as many perspectives as beings in this universe. My surprise came from thinking (my perspective) that we were past all that dogma. That we didn’t need to see what is outside as separate, as less than or different in some way.

My idols include, the sunrise, the sunset, the moon. the sun and stars; the night breeze, the air filling my lungs, the grass growing under my feet, the changing colors of the leaves; the love in a mother’s eyes, the awe felt by a father holding his child for the first time. My idols are too numerous to list. Is this a bad thing? I am an idol worshiper for sure.

Aren’t we all worshipers of things outside ourselves? But are these things, is this holy earth, this beautiful blue ocean planet floating in space truly outside or separate from ourselves? I think not… again, my perspective. We are nurtured, sustained, enlivened, renewed and made in God’s image. Isn’t God/Goddess truly all around us and in us? And if so, where is the separation?

I’ve also heard it said that we are here to somehow govern the earth. Some have used this to make all our abuse of the earth and its flora/fauna ok. We are not here to govern. We are here to be stewards, caretakers. We grow more competent in our stewardship as we appreciate that which we have been given. As we care lovingly for all the gifts Gaia as shared unconditionally with us. As we acknowledge these gifts, we acknowledge her sentience, we see truly who and what she is.

Well, I guess I need to ponder, meditate and think more on what is idol worship. For it eludes my personal perspective.

Within Her Beating Heart

Before my sleepy eyes

I dreamt this time

this world

this now

I call, I wait

The sun beams its vibrant light

On my heavenly heart

And all is well

The titter birds swoop and sing

Loud they call and I look

Watching, wondering

Which way they fly and why

Back and forth they come

Searching for I know not

The light beams arc and flow

Deep into my soul

I live I laugh I know

I call and wait

For what do I wait

For who or is it whom

I plunge my energetic hands

Into the crystals of light

I spin and sink and rise all

In one breathless moment

Waiting, loving, giving

Wondering what and when

Will the prize be opened

before my sleepy eyes…

When the earth calls I answer

When the rains fall I lift my face in smile

Seeing rainbows everywhere

The dragon on my cheek smiles sweetly beneath Goddess’ feet

And she…She serene as always

Holds my passion still within her beating heart

May 18, 2009 Rhea Summer Rain

17 comments

  1. dragonlord3759's Avatar dragonlord3759

    You are truly a blessed person. I hope others will see things your way more, and that some day I might meet someone like you. May all the Gods and Goddesses of this and all the worlds out there, bless and keep you safe in these times we travel through these days. With love your friend always.

    1. Jeanette Harlow's Avatar Jeanette Harlow

      Blessings to you, I truly appreciate your kind words. Also love your name - I am a big fan of dragons in all their splendor! Be well, rhea summer rain

  1. Master Wolf KSC's Avatar Master Wolf KSC

    Churchianity is the history of the congregations who worship. Certain denominations have decided on specific approved interpretations of various concepts. These have as much or more power among the congregations as the original texts. Those of us exposed to various effects of churchianity are forever after changed. We look to rebut what was not in the original texts because. Almost every home altar has some personalization. The strife comes when one tries to verify one’s personal praxis with others’ praxis.

  1. Mya-Lia Sharizyn's Avatar Mya-Lia Sharizyn

    The inner presence of a person's soul described in the words of this post is a sharing. While I tend to share my own soulful expressions with a selective few, they often do include other creations of Mother Nature, as I'm certain we share the Spirit of Life and the Spirit of Death. My perception of "what purpose humans have here" is to be a part of, and discover the treasures of, the Earth from which we have been born. Regarding idols, knowing the bible is referring to anything anyone considers ultimately powerful contained in an elemental form (such as a metal statue of an insignia, a carved wooden human being, or part animal part human, etc) that the person entrusts their power to in order to protect them and provide for them. Think about it, it shouldn't take long! This would remove focus from the god the bible writers wanted to direct people to for the fulfillment of all their government related purposes, and it could actually put power into said object as objects do absorb energies which give them power. Bible writers knew this since their spiritual teachings come from pagan practices and beliefs. Don't believe it? Go to the Vatican where EVERY place has OLD equal armed crosses mixed in with the artifacts. That's every display case, every gift shop display, every wall.

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    Well, Jeanette, since your "idols" do not fit the definition of idol, you are not an idol worshipper. So, it is neither good nor bad - just a non-"thing" scribbled into a blog to create controversy, and thereby, attention to yourself.

    Go figure.

    1. Jeanette Harlow's Avatar Jeanette Harlow

      Hello Minister Mike, Sorry, I do not agree that my thoughts and feelings are a "non-thing". In fact, I believe that is why so many have left the traditional church. Because in the grand scheme of things their essence is considered non-essential. All are essential and all are here as a beautiful ray of the universal god/goddess light flowing through all things.

      Much love to you, J Harlow

      1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

        There's another of your problems - lying about what people say. I did not say your thoughts and/or feelings are a non-thing - simply your expression of them and the reason you did so. Based on your high-and-mighty opinion of yourself, it appears YOU are the idol you worship.

        Get a grip on reality. Instead of preaching sop, go do something useful - feed the poor, visit the sick, help those incarcerated unfairly. In the grand scheme of things, you will be your own idol until you can do those things without thought for yourself.

        1. Jeanette Harlow's Avatar Jeanette Harlow

          WOW. Guess you are not reading my words as they were intended. Go in peace and love, rhea

          1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

            Guess all you want - you're still self-centered preaching gobbledy gook.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    So if you want to worship a rock or nature, then feel free. Just dont try and denounce my religion and then complain when someone denounces yours.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    I guess worship us a strong word. I don’t know if I ever truly worshipped anything in my life. As a teenager I loved, and possibly idolized, the Beatles, which might have been as close to idol worship that I could get. It’s very interesting what can become very inspirational to us as our lives move forward. Inspirations come and go as life unravels. I’m glad we have them, they often map our lives.

    🦁❤️

    1. Mya-Lia Sharizyn's Avatar Mya-Lia Sharizyn

      Indeed, and the creators of Christianity knew this too, As they took them from others and incorporated them into their teachings, but then said it's unacceptable to do exactly that.

  1. Steven P Robinson's Avatar Steven P Robinson

    No one true way.

    I have some things, which might be considered Idols is a classic sense. For me, however, they serve as a focus for my thoughts to be on the Numinous Beings they represent. The thing itself is not an object of worship.

  1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

    that is only if you a Christian then yes Gia as a goddess would be Idol worship because the Christian God does not want you recognizing any other things than himself because he is a selfish God...

  1. Ronald Gri's Avatar Ronald Gri

    Fellow Friends; I believe this to be a wonderful piece of work. Each of us should worship the bounty which has been given us by the grace of THAT which has No Name. We only exist because this grace, given freely with every beat of our hearts, and with every breath we take (Do you control these things?). For should this Grace be discontinued, even for a moment, all would vanish as though a dream. Cherish those around you for we are all moving in the same direction, towards the same goals even though each may be taking a different path, they all end at the same place...standing before that Grace which Providence has seen fit to bestow upon each and every one of us. Be of Good Cheer, for in the end all will be well. Blessings to one and all ;} P.S. No One is perfect, however go forth and do your Best!

  1. Mya-Lia Sharizyn's Avatar Mya-Lia Sharizyn

    It's simply idiotic that Christianity began with the taking of idols to use as a lure for those from whom they were taken, to join the church and incorporate the ways of the church into their lives! Then they condemn worshipping those things! It's insanity. And hypocrisy.

  1. Jeanette Harlow's Avatar Jeanette Harlow

    Wow! Thank you, to each and everyone who posted a reply to my thoughts on idol worship. The one true thing I know is that we are each so unique and to see, read and feel your responses is a gift I treasure.

    I sent this post in October and did not even know if it would be on the website for others to see. I just found it today. Thank you all again for all you do, all you are and all you believe. We are such an amazing tapestry of universal light!

    Be loved and well, J Harlow

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