December 8th Advent Daily Devotional

Head of Gold

Sonja L. Ingebritsen

Daniel 2:36-45

I wonder if Nebuchadnezzar stopped listening after Daniel praised him as “the king of kings” and “the head of gold” when Daniel interpreted the king’s dream about a statue made out of gold, bronze, iron, and clay. After all, Daniel then told him that his kingdom would end. Or was Nebuchadnezzar’s ego so large that he didn’t care what happened after his rule. Progressively inferior kingdoms might make his rule seem all the more brilliant. Generations to follow could proclaim, “None compare to Nebuchadnezzar!”

We live in a time when our own leaders seem sustained by flattery and fawning, caring more for the shine of their gold than the consequences of their actions on future generations and on the earth herself. We, like Daniel, are called to speak courageously to our contemporary Nebuchadnezzars: “There is another realm to come that is stronger and more enduring than your own. This realm belongs to the God of gods.”

During Advent we rehearse our waiting for the now-but-not-yet-full realm of God. We anticipate the appearance of the sovereign God, startled anew that we keep watch not at a palace but a stable. We wait not for a king’s heir, but for the son of a lowly young woman. We don’t see a royal coronation, but an itinerant preacher who teaches and heals. This is the one whose realm will have no end and to whom none can compare. This is the one who wouldn’t have dazzled Nebuchadnezzar, but who shines more brightly than any king’s gold.

 Rev. Sonja Ingebritsen is pastor of Community of Hope United Church of Christ, part of the Madison Christian Community


©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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