The shiny new machine - itself gold-plated - attracted a big crowd as people gathered
to watch whenever someone was struck with the urge to splurge on a bar of the precious metal.
Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel, which retains its top floor for private suites for exclusive patrons, became the first place outside Germany to install "gold to go, the world's first gold vending machine," stated a spokesman from Ex Oriente Lux AG, the German company behind the vending machine.
He continued: "In addition to one-gram, five-gram and 10-gram bars of gold, the machine also dispenses gold coins. Gold rates are constantly updated inside the machine in the hotel's lobby, courtesy of a built-in computer connected to a dealer which sells gold online. This eliminates the risk premiums usually associated with precious metal trading."
Well-Being Australia chairman, Mark Tronson, said that when he read this story he couldn't help but ponder upon the other end of the market place, from a story in the New Testament (Acts 4).
Peter and John, the disciples of Jesus, were in the Temple and before them was a man who had been lame from birth. His daily routine was to be carried to the Gate named Beautiful at the Temple, where he called for alms.
This man saw Peter and John and as was his custom he called for alms. As Peter came up to him, the man was expecting to receive something from them. The response from Peter was quite unexpected:
"Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give thee; In the name of Jesus Christ of Narazeth rise up and walk."
What happened next was astonishing. Peter took him by the right hand, lifted him up, his feet and ankle bones gained strength and as he began leaping and walking, he praised God. Well why wouldn't one be rather excited. And word got around!
The problem was that it drew too much attention, and we read over the next two chapters how the disciples came up against the full force of the politics of the day.
As M V Tronson reflected on these two stories, although 2,000 years apart, he realised that there were some parallel considerations for reflection.
First, gold still retains its high value. Throughout history, gold as a precious metal has maintained some form of currency. This is partly due to the hard scientific fact that it is chemically one of the most inert metals, and does not tarnish easily.
Second, both stories illustrate that those with gold retain a certain distinction which comes from wealth and denotes a certain station in life.
Third, the idea of 'gold' also carries with it a sense that life is more than wealth and station, as we all die, and what we possess we leave behind, including our 'gold'. Our 'gold' in this sense includes all our possessions.
Sometimes we hear the saying 'you can't take it with you' – although archaeological digs have shown that many ancient pre-Christian cultures, including the Egyptians, did think it important to bury gold and other worldly goods along with the mortal remains of wealthy people, to help them in the afterlife.
After this reflection, Mark Tronson concludes that Peter answered the question that the importance of real life is not measured by what we possess in terms of 'gold', but by the eternal riches that Jesus Christ offers.