“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
Matthew 23: 16 – 22
We like to assign value to things, saying which thing is more valuable. Making oaths was used to assign values to things. Israelites were not to swear oaths on God himself. So, they would swear on objects related closely to God, like the temple or the altar. Value is used by so many people to say what is worthy. Values are assigned on so many different criteria, and yet, it is all still assigned by human standards. What matters is not what value we assign to earthly things, but knowing that we are valued by God. We belong to God, and not to different objects which we thing hold more value or sanctity than God.
Prayer: Gracious God, remind us that what matters most is that you are God, and that you are holy. We are your children, and you call us to worship you, and you alone. Help us to keep our focus on you, and the ways that you love us, and this is what matters. Amen
Action: Remind yourself that God has claimed you as your child.