Devotion for Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013
based upon the Narrative Lectionary daily reading
20Daniel said: “Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are his. 21He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. 22He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him. 23To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power, and have now revealed to me what we asked of you, for you have revealed to us what the king ordered.”
My boys are in that wonderful age when they still enjoy listening to family stories. Since both my parents died several years ago, my sons don’t get to know them. I think that is why they really like hearing the escapades of my parents, “the Winzers”. Micah and Nathan only know these grandparents through the stories we tell them. It is these family stories that connect one generation to another, from age to age.
The biblical prophet Daniel had heard the stories of his spiritual ancestors. He’d heard the stories how God promised to be with them, how God saved them from slavery, brought them through the wilderness to the promised land, sought their love and justice for all the people. These could have just been nice stories, but Daniel knew the connection went deeper. The God of his ancestors was real for him. That God was present to him, and had blessed him with knowledge. In these verses, Daniel is giving thanks that God was present and still is.
When we worship, when we hear and read the stories of the Bible, we open our hearts to the connection that faith gives us. Within these stories we find our ancestors. Through these stories we learn faith in the God who lives, who loves, who forgives from age to age. The connection isn’t by blood or name but this faith in God. We believe that God is present even today in our struggles, our joys, our stories.
Faith in action: share or listen to a story of God in your life with a friend or relative. Think about what it feels like to share this story.
Prayer: God of the ages, help us to give praise and thanks to you for your faithfulness. Give us the curiosity to immerse ourselves in the stories of our ancestors. May we feel connected to our spiritual ancestors of the past, connected to family of faith in the present, and connected to your faithfulness into the future. Amen.