Pentecost 23, Tuesday, Year C

Inspired by Daniel 5:1-12

“So they brought in the vessels of gold and silver that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them.  They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.”  Daniel 5:3-4  (NRSV)

We are able to perceive much with our senses.  We can recognize beauty and appreciate value, and we can enjoy fine things.  But in many ways our senses are also very limited.  We can only observe what is right in front of us, and we cannot always understand that what we comprehend is only a small piece of something much larger.

King Belshazzar of Babylon was enjoying a great festival when he called for the costly vessels his father Nebuchadnezzar had plundered from the temple in Jerusalem.  He used them to hold the wine he and his entourage were drinking, and they recognized their beauty and value.  But they did not understand that they were looking at a small part of God’s good creation, and instead they honored nonexistent deities of the lifeless elements used to create such beautiful vessels.

We can observe a stunning sunset or experience the calming peace of the wind passing through the leaves.  We can be thankful for brilliant bouquets of flowers or plentiful harvests.  We can marvel at the strength of the ocean or the placidness of a lake.  None of these things are divine in and of themselves, and none of them owe their existence to their own unique god.  All point to the One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who had made his house the temple in Jerusalem, the God who sent his only Son to die on the cross for the salvation of the world.

Let us pray.  God of all creation, all things point to you.  Grant us the eyes to perceive your goodness in all things, that we may honor you as we experience the beauty of your creation.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.