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Oct8ThuLetter 34 October 8, 2020 by Majors Brenda & David Allen
- Filed Under:
- Spiritual Life Development
We need one another. Created to be in relationship with others, we need community. Community during these days, for many, is difficult. Loneliness can set in, quite easily, between the walls of a place of residence.
I woke thinking about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were the three friends of Daniel. They were a community of four. To understand the context of their story we turn to Daniel 1. There we are told that these young men were amongst the people of God who were sent to Babylon, exiled, because God’s people had turned away from worshiping their living God. Regardless of what the living God, known to them as Yahweh, had done for them, and all they had known and been taught, they neglected the words of the Lord. Breaking covenant with their God, they lived lives of idol worship. God will not share his glory with another and so, faithful to his word, and in response to this behavior, sent them away from all their false securities. They found themselves living in a foreign land with foreign food, customs and people.
Despite living in a foreign land, together the four of them, in the king’s palace, held onto their identity as Yahweh’s, because Yahweh held onto them. This was their security. We read, “God caused the official to show favour and sympathy” (1:9); and “to these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding” (1:17).
We read in Daniel 2, of the ask, by the king of Babylon, to interpret a dream which not one of his astrologers, magicians, or enchanters could interpret. In being asked to interpret the dream, Daniel brings this news to his three friends; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He urges them to pray, to plead for mercy from the God of Heaven, Yahweh (2:18). If he failed to interpret, as the others had, his life would be at risk.
What strikes me is the gift of community in a foreign land. These four young men became God’s gift to one another. Created for community we need one another. We too find ourselves living in a type of ‘foreign land.’ The Bible says, “And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
How, on a day like today, when we are separated from each other, in ways which we had never fathomed, can we encourage one another and meet, together? Well, this is the other thought I awoke with. If I phone/facetime a person I know, two are encouraged through conversation and prayer. That is quite easy! If I phone/facetime a person I know, and together we think of one other person we could invite in, three will be encouraged through conversation and prayer. And, if we want to keep up with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we can make room for a four-way phone/facetime conversation and prayer time.
Our God is with us. He offers us his ongoing care through the gift of one another. Today, may we not “give up meeting together.” Make a phone call or a facetime call! Let’s be the community God has ordained and invites us to be.
330: AS WE ARE GATHERED
As we are gathered, Jesus is here;
One with each other, Jesus is here.
Joined by the Spirit, washed in the blood,
Part of the body, the church of God.
As we are gathered Jesus is here,
One with each other, Jesus is here.
God of community, of welcome and love, thank you that you welcome us daily into your presence. Even in a foreign land you never leave us or forsake us. Amen! Today, as we are reminded of the gift you have given us in one another, speak to us about who we should reach out to with conversation and prayer. May we continue to meet, together, in new and sometimes unusual ways. AMEN
With care and in prayer,