Daily Dose of Good News
Friday, April 16, 2021
At that time I, Daniel, had been mourning for three weeks. I had eaten no rich food, no meat or wine had entered my mouth, and I had not anointed myself at all, for the full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris), I looked up and saw a man clothed in linen, with a belt of gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the roar of a multitude. I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; the people who were with me did not see the vision, though a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone to see this great vision. My strength left me, and my complexion grew deathly pale, and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words; and when I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a trance, face to the ground.
But then a hand touched me and roused me to my hands and knees. He said to me, “Daniel, greatly beloved, pay attention to the words that I am going to speak to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” So while he was speaking this word to me, I stood up trembling. He said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, and have come to help you understand what is to happen to your people at the end of days. For there is a further vision for those days.”
While he was speaking these words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and was speechless. Then one in human form touched my lips, and I opened my mouth to speak, and said to the one who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision such pains have come upon me that I retain no strength. How can my lord’s servant talk with my lord? For I am shaking, no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me.”
Again one in human form touched me and strengthened me. He said, “Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.
Be Strong and Courageous
While the impetus for my stupor
Is the opposite of the impetus for Daniel’s stupor,
The end result is the same.
Daniel admits, “I am shaking. No strength remains in me
And no breath is left in me
At his vision of one in human form
Body like beryl, face like lightning, eyes flaming torches
Arms and legs like burnished bronze.
His words like the roar of a multitude
Daniel is overwhelmed by his vision of a divine one in human form.
A Son of Man, Messiah?
Instead of being overwhelmed though,
By the vision of a divine one in human form,
I am overwhelmed by the inhumanity
We keep insisting to demonstrate upon one another.
Another mass shooting in Indianapolis last night, killing 8 people.
That’s 30 people killed in mass shootings this month.
Three more shooting deaths this week in law enforcement encounters
Where only law enforcement officers fired their weapons.
Deaths by drug overdose are skyrocketing
And hospitals are filling up and more people are dying
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
Which continues to defy the efforts we are able make for containing it.
I’m overwhelmed by the grasp that death appears to have on us right now.
While I am admittedly overwhelmed though, I do not despair
Because of the events by which Daniels vision
Have ultimately played out in the history of the world
With the divine one in human form Jesus
Hearing our cries of death throughout the eons
And entering into the throes of death with us
In order to help us also understand
What is to happen to God’s people at the end of days.
Jesus, the crucified and risen one, divine in human form
Resides now in the future that awaits all those whom God loves.
He has revealed God’s power of life over death.
And so assured, friends, we inspired by that hope
To give witness to the power of life in any way that we can
Even amid the overwhelming incidents of death that grip us now
For while death has already lost the battle with life in the end,
We pray that the divine human one into life eternal
Would touch and encourage us with strength and courage
Filled with wisdom and the cultural, political and moral will
For rejecting death in our own day now as well. Amen