A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: Our fifth graders and their parents attending the Faith and Human Sexuality Workshop.
Scripture: Daniel 3:1-18
Key verses 16-18: 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. 17 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
Reflection: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in trouble. These faithful Jews, living and working in exile in Babylon, refused to bow down to a golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. You may know what happens to them. They are thrown into a fiery furnace, protected by an angel of God, and emerge without even a scorch mark. Their miraculous survival leads the astonished King to bless aloud the God of Israel, and give the three Jews religious protection and even a promotion.
I’m challenged by the words of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego above. On the edge of the fire pit, they declare their faith in God whatever the outcome. If God delivers them from what looks to be the end, let God deliver them. If not, their faith in God is just as strong. This is what amazes the king and should amaze us.
What is your fiery furnace today? What feels scary and dangerous to you and requires trust in God? Maybe you’ve gotten there by standing firm in your beliefs and values, like these three did. Or maybe you, or someone you love, is about to be thrown into the pit through no conscious choice of your own. Whatever it was, and whatever will be, may the faith of these three strengthen and encourage you.
Prayer: Holy God, you have protected and cared for your people from the beginning. Today may your grace and mercy and power be real for me and for all those who may be fearful. Keep us faithful. Help us remember that you are faithful. Through Christ the Lord I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].