God gave knowledge, mastery of all literature, and wisdom
to these four men. Daniel himself gained understanding
of every type of vision and dream.Daniel 1:17
A wonderful hero and saintly person is going to be our model for Mondays during the season of autumn. He’s a young man, probably a teenager. His name of Daniel. He is one of the great prophets of God’s people—someone whose whole life, in all he says and does, reflects God’s life, just as we were learning from yesterday’s Gospel. He’s a hero we can love.
Daniel was one of many thousands of Jewish people about six hundred years before Jesus’s birth who were captives living in the land of Babylon. This ancient land was part of the modern country of Iraq. Though there were no places or buildings that reminded him of God, his memories of God’s actions on behalf of God’s people were alive by faith inside Daniel. He knew that God was with him.
In the first episode we find Daniel and three other Hebrew friends selected to become advisors at the royal court of King Nebuchadnezzar. (My goodness, a name with five syllables!) With all the familiar reminders of God taken away, the four friends firmly decided to do be aware of God’s presence by refusing to do what God had forbidden. So when it came time to eat food that was not allowed by God’s people, they just said: “No: we won’t do it!”
Look how the fidelity of Daniel and his friends to God’s ways brought them wisdom and favor with the King! You too: the closer you live to the ways that God wants in humility and love, the more God’s grace and wisdom will be given to you.
Here’s an idea: Picture yourself as a fifth person quietly living alongside these four wonderful young men. They are part of what we call the Communion of Saints. In Jesus you are one of those saints too!
Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Thank You for knowledge and skill. v. 17
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.
This is the First Week in the season of Kingdomtide, Year B.
It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere.
Mondays in this season are dedicated to the Prophet Daniel.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet. More information…