Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Feast of All Saints - Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18

Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18
I've had troubling dreams that were just as terrifying as Daniel’s vision but I didn't write them down so I’m not so terrified by them today. Daniel’s dreams were not only written down but were carried forward into a future Daniel could have never dreamed and now have become a treasure trove of material for the end times industry that capitalizes on the fear of being left behind to suffer Daniel's terrifying dream come true. It does seem somewhat ironic that words written to an enslaved people in a foreign land would be wholeheartedly adopted by free and generally well off people in the most prosperous nation on the planet. It’s not that the promise cannot be for the comfortable as long as one recognizes it was not written to us in the first place and even if you live the illusion that Daniel was really talking to Christians the truth is this a word to Israel. So the terrifying vision is first a welcome word of victory to those who sat by the waters of Babylon and wept while their captors demanded they sing glad songs of Zion. (Psalm 137) It is a welcome word for us only so far as we have been grafted into the root of Israel. (Romans 11:17-18) There was a time in my life when I was an end time junkie and could not help myself from trying to connect all the dots of ancient prophecy with current events. I now believe focusing on escaping whatever terrifying dreams might be coming is a way of escaping the terrifying reality of our own time faced by people every day. I handed out my last two Calvary care packages (a bag of non-perishable food) to an old man in a wheelchair begging on a street corner in Dallas this morning and he tore into it like he hadn't eaten in week. Talk about a terrifying vision. Listen. The final future is secure even if getting there will be difficult. But in the here and now people are hungry and without shelter or community or friendship and you and I have the means to make their daily nightmare a little less terrifying with simple acts of kindness. That is what it means to holy ones of the Most High. Or if you like, saints.

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