Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin

This meditation is based on a passage for May 12, 2011 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Daniel 5:13-30

Reflection and Question: The saying, “The writing on the wall,” arises from this story. Once again, Daniel is able — when all the other imperial advisors are not — to interpret the inscrutable, and what he learns is not good news for Belshazzar. Nevertheless, the king acknowledges the truth in Daniel’s judgment of his rule and warning of his fall. That very night the king dies and Darius, the Mede, takes over. What we learn from this story is that the God of Israel is the one God who rules over all of these doings and Daniel is God’s faithful servant. Where in our time might we need a reminder that only God rules?

Prayer: God of all lands and peoples, forgive us when we, like Belshazzar, exalt ourselves, praise false gods of money or power, and ignore that Your power is in our very breath. Have mercy on us when You show us the writing on the wall. Spare us. Amen.