Daily Lectionary:Isaiah 33:1-24; Revelation 5:1-14
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When you were confirmed, you were asked, “Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed to remain true to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even to death?” And you answered. “I do, by the grace of God.” You are in good company. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not use the same words but made the same confession.
Daniel and these three young men lived in rapidly changing times. They lived in the disappointments and temptations of exile. Golden idols with the threat of death if they did not bow down demanded a faithful confession. Ordinances that demand you pray to King Darius were in direct conflict with faithfully serving the one true God whom Daniel and we serve.
Our world is rapidly changing as well. “Woke” and “cancel culture” push hard to have you bow down to their will. Pressure to achieve and perform push us to conform to the will of a broken sinful world, sacrificing faithfulness to our faithful God.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faithful. They worshiped God. Their confession did not waver. Even when they looked into the lion’s den or stood at the mouth of the fiery furnace, they did not worship false gods. They did not give in to fear. Their confession was, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us.”
Our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who has served us first, is able to deliver us. Every enemy, defeated. Every sin atoned for by “the Son of man,” and His kingdom shall not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13). The fear that tries to paralyze and silence our faithful confession cannot withstand the baptismal identity which God has given you. You are a child of God, faithful and forgiven. Your confession is the same as Daniel and the three young men. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
I walk with Jesus all the way, His guidance never fails me; Within His wounds I find a stay When Satan’s pow’r assails me; And by His footsteps led, My path I safely tread. No evil leads my soul astray; I walk with Jesus all the way. (“I Walk in Danger All the Way” LSB 716, st.5)
–Rev. Randy Sturzenbecher is pastor of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, Black Hawk, SD. He is also the vice president of Higher Things.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch