Monday, December 11
Worthy of God
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
This is a weird story -- a vision of God for Ezekiel. In it, four angel-like creatures derived their power from the fire of God. These creatures possessed complementary qualities -- the speed, fierceness, and prowess of a lion, the strength and determination of an ox, the sight and speed of an eagle, and the mind and body of a human. These creatures had wings so they could go, and hands so they could do. They were driven and purposeful, ready to do God's work at any moment.
I guarantee a vision like this terrified Ezekiel. It terrifies me, and I wasn't even there. It reminds me of that scene in The Neverending Story when Atreyu had to pass the Oracles' test by believing in himself. I don't know if I would have passed the test. I wonder, did Ezekiel believe he was worthy of such a vision? It's the first chapter -- surely he doubted his worth.
It begs the question: are we, tiny, powerless human beings worth all the fuss of God's winged creatures and the fire that spews lightning? Yep, that we are! Why did God send this vision to Ezekiel? Why did Atreyu survive the Oracles? Why are we given a glimpse into heaven? Because Ezekiel, Atreyu, and we are worth it. Not because we have done anything great, but because we haven't. We simply are. And our very existence makes us worthy of God's attention. We are worthy because God loves us.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Ezekiel 1:1-14
In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was on him there.
As I looked, a stormy wind came out of the north: a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually, and in the middle of the fire, something like gleaming amber. In the middle of it was something like four living creatures. This was their appearance: they were of human form. Each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another; each of them moved straight ahead, without turning as they moved. As for the appearance of their faces: the four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle; such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. Each moved straight ahead; wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. In the middle of the living creatures there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures; the fire was bright, and lightning issued from the fire. The living creatures darted to and fro, like a flash of lightning.