Ezekiel 31: 3-7 (Inclusive Bible)
Look to Assyria, once a Lebanon cedar
[beautiful branches, dense shade, towering height;] (a)
it is top among the clouds.
Springs nourished it,
and deep waters made it grow tall;
their streams flowed around its base,
sending their channels to all the trees in the countryside.
So it towered high above every other tree of the field.
Its boughs grew larger and its branches extended out,
nourished by an abundance of water.
All the birds of the air nested in its boughs;
under its branches wild animals gave birth to their young.
All the great nations thrived in its shade.
It was majestic in its beauty with its spreading boughs,
its roots reaching deeply into an abundance of water.
(a) Ref: CEB
The imagery in this reading is beautiful. If you watched my worship service from Sunday you saw it play out in real life. If you didn’t, read it again and then close your eyes and imagine it in your mind’s eye.
These are God’s words to the Pharaoh of Egypt. At first glance it seems so beautiful but if you continue reading, you’ll see that he uses this beautiful analogy to sort of bring Pharaoh down a notch and remind him to check his ego.
I feel like this is very suiting for our world right now. We all need a little ego check, a good dose of humility.
God’s creation is one of beauty. God loves beauty. Every where I look I find something beautiful to behold. Right now as I am sitting on the patio typing this I’m watching an interesting bug with beautiful markings, I’m listening to birds chirp and wind chimes clink. I can see faces in the trees and the flowers are just filling my space with vibrant colors!
Beauty is everywhere. It’s not just in nature though, it’s in everything God created, each person he created. Sometimes though we people, can get a little full ourselves, just like pharaoh. We begin to think we are better than others. Sometimes it’s individuals or sometimes it’s as groups… families, schools, towns, countries, nationalities, races, religions, denominations and so on… When we begin to feel this way, we need to remember that all God’s creations are beautiful and let us be beguiled by it.
Thank you for beauty all around us. Open our eyes to see it, to be beguiled by the beauty you have placed right in our midst. Help us to check our egos and to humbly see the beguiling beauty you place in each of us. Amen.