December 4th Advent Daily Devotional

Faithfulness in a Changed World

Sharla Hulsey

Daniel 2:1-16

Western Christians no longer live in a culture in which Christianity is the default setting.  We no longer have a privileged place in our society.  While most of us can be thankful we are not being truly persecuted, it has become harder to be a Christian, because the world around us is indifferent if not hostile to our beliefs and practices.

Daniel and his three companions (whom we generally know by their Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) have been given powerful positions in the Babylonian government.  They decline privileges of these positions that would compromise their faithfulness to their God.  Eventually they are punished for their refusal to “go along to get along”; but God protects them and brings them safely through their troubles.

The book of Daniel was written to encourage a people who lived with persecution and the temptation to avoid trouble by making compromises.  We, too, are tempted to make compromises as the culture in which we live has changed.  Daniel and his companions show us how to trust that God will bring us through difficulties we face because of our faithfulness.

Advent is a time when the differences between our faith and our culture are quite stark.  How can we remain faithful amid constant temptation to busyness and materialistic excess?  Daniel and his companions can help us find our way.

 

 Sharla Hulsey is preparing to leave First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Sac City, Iowa, to become pastor of First Christian Church in Butler, Missouri.

 

©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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