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  • The Holy Bible, NRSV

How do we measure our worth?


Exodus 39: 32-43 "In this way all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished: the Israelites had done everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frame, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; the covering of fine leather, and the curtain for the screen; the ark of the covenant with its poles and the mercy seat; the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; the pure lampstand with its lamps set on it and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin with its stand; the hangings of the court; its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords and its pegs, and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; the finely worked vestments for ministering in the holy place, the sacred vestments for the priest, Aaron and the vestments of his sons, to serve as priests. The Israelites had done all of the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. When Moses saw that they had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded, he blessed them." (NRSV)

When Ester MacDonald, from Quebec, Canada, had her first baby, she became a stay-at-home mom. It was the job she had always longed for, but she was constantly plagued by feelings of low self-esteem and futility. Why? She figured that she was spending too much time comparing herself to others, and also, because she was failing to measure her worth by God's standards. Does this sound familiar? Too often we may be guilty of the same thing.

In this reading from Exodus about the constructing of the tabernacle in the wilderness, we can learn something about worth. When the Israelites had completed all the components, Moses had them present their work for inspection. He didn't ask to see only the ark of the covenant and the pure gold lamp-stands; he asked to see every last piece of this important structure. Aaron's priestly garments had to be perfect, but so did the tent pegs. In God's eyes, each item was important, and each was infused with value and significance.

Sometimes we may not feel like anything more than a peg, holding down the flapping tent of our home, or our job, or even our life. But in God's eyes it is not important whether we are made of bronze or gold. Instead, we give glory to God by carrying out the worthy and vital purpose for which God designed us. Where would a tent be if it didn't have good, strong pegs?

Dear Lord, help us to view our tasks through Your eyes and, in doing so, glorify You with our attitudes and actions. Amen.

Thought for the Day: When I measure my worth by God's standards, I am always enough.


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