Monday 21 March 2011

Bible Book:

"Open shame, O Lord, falls on us, our kings, our officials, and our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets." (vv. 8-10)

Daniel 9:4-10 Monday 21 March 2011


The prophets of the Old Testament were not so much people whocould look into the future as they are sometimes described, butindividuals who, through their deep knowledge of God, have a clearinsight into what is happening and therefore what might well happenas a consequence.

In today's passage Daniel recognises the failings of the society heis a part of. Yesterday in John 3:1-17 we saw how Jesus calls us asindividuals to change - to leave behind things that are wrong andtake on spiritual qualities. Daniel here is not so much addressingindividuals as the society as a whole. There may well have beenindividuals needing to change, but people are not just individuals- they are part of wider society, and that too needs tochange.

It seems that what Daniel is concerned about is the willingness ofthe people of Israel to take on the fashions and practices ofpeople they live amongst, rather than following God's lead. Wemight translate that to 21st-century life in terms of the media. Wecan allow ourselves to be too influenced by what others seem to bedoing or what they are saying in the soaps, in documentaries or inthe news, rather than staying loyal to the ways of God. What regardis there for justice in our society, what care is there for thepoorest and most vulnerable, what are we willing to give up to carefor the environment? These are the calls of the prophet to ustoday: 'Lord forgive us for we have strayed ...'

To Ponder

When you are shopping or doing financialtransactions, do you think about how ethical are the goods you arebuying, or the financial services you are using? From now onwardwhen you do either of these, let the ethical questions be uppermostin your mind rather than the cost.

Our view of what is happening in the world isshaped to a considerable degree by the news items chosen bygovernment and the managers of the news media. How can we be opento God's justice?

Pollution has the potential to make the earthuninhabitable to humans. To what extent is it a sin to drive a car?Or fly in a plane?

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