Week 21 Monday

Glitter and Gold

Today’s scripture selection: Exodus 29-32

Key verse: Exodus 32:1

Talk about ungrateful.

After Moses went to the mountaintop to commune with God on behalf of the people he had helped free from slavery…

“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us out of Egypt, we don’t know what happened to him.’”

And thus was born the famous “golden calf.”

Movie makers and story tellers have had a lot of fun ever since then – recounting the famous tale of an ungrateful, fickle people who tore off their earrings and other adornments and made a fake god out of them.

But the lesson is really one for us all.

We can so easily, given the right circumstances, turn to false gods of our own making. We can so easily forget the liberation God has provided from

  • Past injustices
  • Past hurts
  • Past failings
  • Past doubts
  • Past fears

And all the other things that can cause us to look somewhere other than the living God for salvation.

So, while it may be easy to point the finger at those silly, fickle people, we need to periodically remind ourselves that “all that glitters isn’t gold.”

What does the scripture say is better than gold?

“The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey from the honeycomb.”

And the golden calf? It’s just so much scrap metal.

Prayer: Lord, remind me should I forget, that You are the one true God. AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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