Control & Submission

I relish a few moments of silence. I hear the birds chirping in the dark. My household still sleeps. With coffee and Bible, journal and pen, I feel most like myself. At home. 

Go to school. Leave for work. I’ve spent the last six months explaining to a child that *everyone* does this. We all exit the house in the morning and go. Separately. To different places. To be responsible. To socialize. Exercise body and mind. I’m a big believer. 

But now. Trips canceled. Favorite places closed. Hard to say which decisions have been the most difficult. “Disorientation,” a friend says. Through this lens, I read the stories of the Hebrew Bible. Today of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 

“Peoples, nations, and languages! This is what you must do: When you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, zither, lyre, harp, flute, and every kind of instrument, you must bow down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Anyone who will not bow down and worship will be immediately thrown into a furnace of flaming fire.” Daniel 3:4-6 (CEB)

What are the gold statues set up for us? What alternate gods are available? Urged upon us by culture and power. I consider fear, panic, anxiety. How each of us chooses. Our words and our actions. What fiery furnace lies ahead? 

I appreciate the unity of the three friends. Their unwillingness to bow to power or fear. Strength and resolve. Together. 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar: “We don’t need to answer your question. If our God—the one we serve—is able to rescue us from the furnace of flaming fire and from your power, Your Majesty, then let him rescue us. But if he doesn’t, know this for certain, Your Majesty: we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you’ve set up.” Daniel 3: 16-18 (CEB)

The friends had very little control of the situation. Of their lives. But they could still choose their response. We all submit to something. As Dylan sang, “you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” 

Dawn breaks. Any moment this silence will be shattered. The coffee pot is empty. There is no school. We cannot all go to work. We do not know what is ahead; we stare into the furnace. 

But though King Nebuchadnezzar threw three men bound into the fire, a fourth walked among them. They were not alone. And neither are we. 

May we choose whom we serve. May we know companionship. May we see the messenger of God walking among us. 

Bulletin: 3/15
3/15 Worship Songs

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