Pause

If you are able, go ahead and stand up as you prepare to read today’s scripture passage found on the “Listen” page. If you would like, take your shoes off so you can feel the ground beneath you. Go ahead, really… stand up.

Take a moment to feel the ground underneath your feet. Press down all ten of your toes. Become aware of what the ground feels like. Is it rough? Is it soft and welcoming? Turn your awareness to the earth supporting you as you stand, feeling the strength in your feet.

Now before you go on, take three deep, strong breaths as you stand tall, ready to experience God’s Word today.

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Listen

King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue. It was ninety feet high and nine feet wide. He set it up in the Dura Valley in the province of Babylon.

The herald proclaimed loudly: “Peoples, nations, and languages! This is what you must do: When you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, zither, lyre, harp, flute, and every kind of instrument, you must bow down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Anyone who will not bow down and worship will be immediately thrown into a furnace of flaming fire.”

Daniel 3:1, 4-6

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Think

It’s a strange image, isn’t it? To think of those bearing the image of God to be commanded by another now to worship an image of gold. Words separated by one thin letter, and yet, how entirely different these images are.

All the people of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar himself, the harpist and flute player… every one of them were created in the image of God. Their very reflection points towards and beckons us to worship God their maker. And yet here they are, being pointed towards an image of gold, and called out to worship it instead.

“This is what you must do…” says King Nebuchadnezzar. Perhaps it isn’t a ninety-foot golden statue you’re being commanded to worship. Maybe you feel pressure to worship the god of success or comfort. Perhaps it is the god of exclusivity, as you are commanded to exclude them for the sake of making us look better.

Every day, we walk around bearing the image of God – but are we instead lifting up praises and worship to mere gold?

Sara Hunt-Felke

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Pray

Creator God, help me today to be more aware of the golden statues in my own life. You made me in your image, and I want to worship you with my life. Amen.

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Go

Today, may you stand firm.

Stand firmly aware that the God who walked in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is the same God who walks this road with you.

May you stand firm on the foundation built for you by the God who loves you fiercely.

Sara Hunt

Sara Hunt-Felke lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband TJ, their daughter Adelina and their dog “Monk.” Sara is a Hospital Chaplain and in her free time enjoys a good cup of coffee, baking, and spending time outside in God’s creation

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Jon Chacko

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