Provenance is the origin or source from which something comes, and the history of its creation and ownership. As a collector, I've come to love this word. By the time "stuff" hits the flea market, provenance is lost. Sometimes detective work yields clues on an item's history.
Antiques remind us of our mortality, since the seasons of life for previous owners have passed. I'm reminded to reflect on the purposes and changing perspectives of society throughout decades and centuries. A commonality is expressed in Ecclesiastes 3 and in today's psalm. Will people recognize the provenance of this world, its creation and ownership by our Heavenly Father? Do we honor the legacies of blessings others have shared with us? Will we be good stewards, passing along the possessions, stories and lessons of life and faith?
Lord, we are created in Your image. Inspire us to live in such a way that we recognize Your presence in others, and they glimpse our provenance from You. Amen
Psalm 49:1-12 (NRSV)
1 Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high, rich and poor together.
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly, no ransom avails for one's life, there is no price one can give to God for it.
8 For the ransom of life is costly, and can never suffice,
9 that one should live on forever and never see the grave.
10 When we look at the wise, they die; fool and dolt perish together and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they named lands their own.
12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp; they are like the animals that perish.