Friday

“Again one in human form touched me and strengthened me. He said, ‘Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!’ When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’” (vv. 18-19)

Daniel 10:1 – 11:1 Friday 25 April 2014


Background

This last vision in the book of Daniel again includes a humanfigure (perhaps like the vision of God we see in Ezekiel 1). One of the clear features of thisvision is that hearing it comes at great physical cost for Daniel.We are told his strength leaves him, he collapses in a trance andeven after being roused he is weak and trembling (verses 8,16-17).

In verses 18 and 19 we see something of a resurrection forDaniel. He is strengthened or restored. He gets a new lease of lifeafter being assured he is loved and safe. For him this resurrectionis not just about physical strength, but also the strength andsecurity that comes when fear is taken away and we feel safe.

Can we make any connections between this restoration or new lifefor Daniel to the resurrection of Jesus, still fresh in our mindsthis Easter week? Are there also connections to new life for thedisciples when they meet the risen Jesus and later when theyreceive the Holy Spirit?

Do we dare make a claim that God is consistent in working fornew life, for resurrection in this life as well as for eternity?That it starts with an understanding of being loved and beingsafe.

Did we see this new strength and new life in Nelson Mandela whenreleased after 27 years in prison, new life that brought new lifeto a whole nation? Perhaps you have seen new life, new strength,even resurrection in people who have survived abuse or healthcrises or relationship breakdowns or unemployment.

Could it be that in Daniel here we see an example of a patternwhere God brings new life when the future seems impossible? Couldit be that here we see part of the role of the Church in being withpeople when their vision of the future is as bleak as Daniel's andassuring them that they are loved and safe? Helping combat fear sothat God can give new life and strength.


To Ponder

  • In whom have you seen resurrection? What was new life/strengthlike for these people?
  • Reflect on your own experiences of new life. Can you fit thisin a wider pattern of new life? If so, how?
  • How might we support others so that they can now they are lovedand safe, ready for new life?
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