Monday, November 19, 2012

Christ the King Year B - Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

Daniel 7:1-18
The lectionary leaves out the bulk of Daniel chapter seven, including Daniel’s own commentary. “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was troubled within me and the visions of my head terrified me.” (7:15) There are endless web pages dedicated to the terrifying visions that troubled Daniel’s spirit. They offer detailed explanation of what will be which, truth to be told, only seem to serve the purpose of further troubling and terrifying. If you want to see some interesting art work just do an image search on Daniel 7! But then apocalyptic writings encourage fanciful thinking. Dreams and visions beg for explanation as we are far more curious than the proverbial cat, especially if we think some advantage may be gained in the knowing. But the ultimate purpose of the apocalyptic vision of the future is to provide hope in the present. The simple truth of Daniel is this: the four arrogant kingdoms hell bent on devouring the weak will themselves be devoured and those they threaten will endure. All the hope of the people and nations and languages is in the One presented before the Ancient of Days. Not a talking horn king but the King of Kings who comes not to devour but to bless. This One given dominion and glory and kingship is not arrogant or rude, jealous or boastful, but full of mercy and compassion. Is it necessary then, or even helpful, to speculate as to future applications of Daniel’s dream of kingdoms and talking horns? I don’t think so for when we focus on end times imagination we often neglect to provide in the present for the very people the King of Kings came to save, which makes us more like an arrogant horn than the King we seek to serve. 

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