Dn1-2 v5 'for three years – Those of us involved with students should not be blind to the significance of this. The exile of undergraduate study serves as an Imperial tool in the conformation of a generation. We can serve these students who are far-flung and subjected to aggressive assimilation by first highlighting the forces that seek their allegiance and second by praying hard along side them, and by creating Metropolitan shelters to sharpen Daniels and nurture a counter culture, to mend the wounded and wean the addicted off the King's meat. .. v12 'vegetables' – Rich food is a tool employed by imperial powers. Know this. And as Hudson Taylor training on oatmeal, eschewing cream buns, we need Shane Claiborne's Theology of Enough. We could do a group study on food that *wasn't* eaten in the bible. A meditation on meals missed. Singapore's cake and circuses are obvious to the outsider, our own belly-gods Ph3v19 here in London will take some discerning: coffee sacrificed to brands and powers, meat made unclean by injustice, and permissible vegetarianism made not-profitable by causing another's stumbling. Interesting 1Cor10v16's food of idolatry is contrasted with the food of participation in Christ's suffering – so suffer we. 1Cor10v28 makes abstinence missional – go therefore and make vege lasagne for all nations, dieting for the sake of the gospel. How to land upon an application? Given the need for a missionally distinctive diet, which trusts God to make up the calorie difference while I abstain from x for the sake of the nations, knowing that a strict structure has a biblical precedent and does not need to be pharasaical.. But how? God, give us the bread of our daily bread, the supply of wisdom to discern our supply of calories rightly. Be this the Dn44 kingdom to end Kingdoms, the quiet revolution.
Dn3-4 here we are at the 3v18 'but if not'. Courage is / believing in miracles / but more / not being the generation who asks for a sign / courage is / believing in the redeemed Christ / Regardless // We believe in God's power to undo nature's laws, and we believe in the absolute sufficiency of grace in the face of unmade nature's laws. So we pray for ourselves and for those we love, declaring that Jesus can violate expectation in a moment, and that always is it true that he has v25 never left them, that grace is 2Cor12v9sufficient for them. This week, I do not want to be a forgetful Nebuchadnezzar, here twice tasting God's glory and then losing his way by turning his eyes to himself. Jesus, our highest joy, we join in Sunday's prayer that you make us like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Keep us honest in our but-if-not.
Dn5-6 'I have heard'.. Rather as Rm10v14. Are you being heard? Is the Spirit of God who is in you being heard of? Prophetic insights are missional, lion-saving is missional, all desperate Dan antics were and were recorded missionally so that God might be heard of. Are you being heard? .. 6v8 Making rash decisions, esvsb offers that the 'cannot be revoked' was not to say that the King could not issue a counter-edict, but it was a question of saving face.. Our plans are subject to God changing them, we know in part 1Cor13v9, so humility humility humility. 6v10 towards.. We are an oriented people – this is prayerfulness, purpose-drivenness, facing-towards face-to-face. So pray 6v26, as 4v3 and 4v34-5, as Acts 4v24 on Sunday, so ascribe greatness to Our God for all that he specifically has been. for us, for St Mary's, for London and all of Christian history.
Dn7-8 a passage both specific to its historical-cultural context and enduring in its picture of the reigning Christ. We come first to bow at the 7v9-14 throne of the one we love, Rev1v12-19 falling at his feet as though dead. Christ is always reigning in this way, this is coiled into the working out of our salvation in fear & trembling. Christ is always the overcomer of systems, governances & superpowers, which is why we can pray for vast geo-political happenings, for Christ is on this throne, prayers for mercy justice & revival in England. Holding before the throne complex and beyond-my-understanding global market forces, that need redeeming. Lord God, make a way towards Revelation, use us. Prayers for Christians in Egypt this week, may your church shine brightly there.
Dn9-10 A quiet time about about quiet times: 9v20 speaking, praying, confessing personal and national sins (so prayers for self/church/world should include repentance) and then presenting pleas. Daniel did what he did in all of life on the basis of such devotions - a quiet timer par excellence. Having prayed, he listens. So we listen. Listening for our belovedness 9v23 as Mk1v11. Related to Monday night's Mt25v4 we listen so as to be sustainably filled with the oil of belovedness, (which burns on the wick of repentance , in the lamp of our lives, by which we find a coming groom in a growing gloom?) We listen confident that God comes because of our words 10v12, to dialogue. How ridiculous that we can call on the maker of everything by our words. In our shame 9v8 and insufficiency we have a self-sufficient sufficient saviour v19 the God who saves God's people for God's sake. Call on him and be 10v18-19 so strengthened.
Dn11-12 a catalogue of brokenness: 11v4 v22 broken kingdoms & communities, v20 broken individuals, & ways v26 we break each other out of our brokenness. Brokenness begets v16 coercion, v32 flattery & v36 stubborn pride, to name a few. here we v27 set ourselves against others and v28 v30 against God, leading to v45 aloneness. How desperately we need Jesus, the healer of our brokenness, it is Is53v5 by his wounds we are healed. Only in Jesus can we v35 stand firm, be refined, manifest the humility, conviction & other that we are called to today. These things are we praying, in & through Jesus. In & through Jesus can we 12v3 Phil2v12-15 shine like stars: it is God who works in you, so that those you eat with will know that you love them, from belovedness. & a moment over 12 - do not expend energy speculating about the future, neither ultimately nor details of future plans, rather - focus on shining like stars.