“Smudge and Snuggles Find a Statue”
Smudge and his sister Snuggles were not very much different from all the young chipmunks in the forest. They loved their mommy and daddy and the time they spent together in the rafters of the church worshiping God with the people, even though the people didn’t know they were up there. You probably have a few chipmunks worshipping in your church with you that nobody knows about. Look for them this Sunday. You will see them.
But the thing they loved to do, like all children of all species love to do is play. Oh, they ran all over the forest, leaping from tree to tree, playing “chase me, catch me” not always knowing who was doing the chasing and who the catching. The forest was so fun to explore and they found lots of treats to nibble on and left over toys from humans who had visited the forest.
One day they played “chase me, catch me” so hard that they ran far out of their usual play areas in the forest. Suddenly they perched on an old stump and looked around puzzled.
“Where is this place Smudge?” Snuggles asked her brother.
“I am not sure. This is a different part of the forest. Look at all the old pillars and slabs. It looks like there was some kind of building here, like a church or something.” Smudge answered.
“A church? Maybe it’s like the one we sneak into and worship Jesus with the humans in town. Wouldn’t that be exciting? Let’s explore” Snuggles squeaked excitedly. And explore they did. They burrowed under leaves and sticks finding interesting colored stones and pieces of paper with squiggles on them like the books that the humans sing from in church. Just then, Snuggles sang out with great excitement. “LOOK WHAT I FOUND SMUDGE!”
Smudge leapt from rock to rock until he reached his sister and when he saw it, he just gasped. “It’s a statue!” He exclaimed.
And it was a statue. It was about the same size as the chipmunks but it wasn’t like the statues at their regular church. The little man statue was fat and his face looked different, like pictures of oriental people they saw in the children’s picture books they spied on after Sunday School. The little fat man didn’t have a shirt on and he was sitting cross-legged. His hands rested on his knees with the palms up and one finger touching the thumb and he was smiling with his eyes closed. “It looks like he is praying” Smudge observed.
“If this is a church, maybe this is the god that they worshipped, like we have statues of Jesus at the human church.” Snuggles thought.
“Maybe that’s it!” Smudge said as he tried to understand. “We better worship it!” So the little chipmunks tried to make up worship songs for the statue. They sang….”
“YOU ARE THE BEST STATUE GOD IN THE FOREST” but that one didn’t have very good tune.
“FAT MAN STATUES LOVE US, THIS WE KNOW…” but the statue didn’t seem to love them very much.
“Snuggles, why don’t I feel peace and joy inside like when we worship Jesus?’ Smudge wondered.
“I know why” Snuggles said with alarm jumping back from the statue. “Remember Pastor Jones preached about the idols the bad religions worshiped in the old part of their religion book? I think this is an idol Snuggles!”
“And God said in those 10 rules Moses got from the mountain, ‘I am the LORD your God, You shall have no other gods before me’” said Snuggles with alarm in her chipmunk voice. “Oh Smudge, we shouldn’t be worshipping this fat man statue at all.”
“I don’t feel joy and peace at all right now Snuggles. In fact, I have a tummy ache,” Smudge complained. Just then, a big black cloud formed over the forest, thunder boomed making Smudge and Snuggles jump with fright and it began to storm.
“Let’s run home!” Smudge screamed in fear.
The two little chipmunks never ran so fast. Over the rocks and fallen trees, past bushes and all the other animals they knew until they found the forest where they felt safe and then straight home and to their hutch in the chipmunk home they shared with mommy and daddy. There they felt safe and promised each other they would never go to that part of the forest again. And they were so glad tomorrow was Sunday so they could go worship the one true God like they were supposed to do.
We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. [1 Corinthians 8:4-6]