Summer is upon us whether we are ready or not. Before we know it we’ll be in the midst of all our summer activities, which at our church includes Vacation Bible School (June 18-22). This year’s Vacation Bible School theme is Babylon: Daniel’s Courage in Captivity. Of all the books in the Bible, Daniel has to be one of the tops for VBS material. There’s the story of the Hebrew children turning their noses up at the king’s food, the story of those same boys getting thrown into danger of the fiery furnace, and, of course, who can forget Daniel and the lions’ den. What kid doesn’t like these stories?!
Because these stories make such good VBS material we sometimes miss an important fact, the book of Daniel wasn’t written just for children. In fact, its primary audience was to Jewish adults who found themselves living in a foreign land generations after the exile had begun. These people were struggling to know how to live out faithful lives in a culture that encouraged them to do anything but that. Was it ok to compromise one’s faith in order to get along at work? At school? Down at City Hall? How much should one engage their culture? How much of one’s culture should one resist?
In that sense, Daniel is one of the most modern of books in the Bible. Who of doesn’t struggle with figuring out how to live a life of faith in a culture that often pushes us in the opposite direction? So we’re not going to just study the book of Daniel in VBS this year. We’re going to study it in worship the entire month of June that, like Daniel, we might learn to be a people who learn to have courage in a world that is often dismissive or even hostile to our faith.
In order to get the discussion started, I wonder would be willing to share, where do you find it most difficult to live out your faith?
“The world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever” – 1 John 2:17.