Sunday July 18 2021
The Rest of The Story: Daniel & the Lions
Daniel 6:11-23 nRSV
Rev Mary Beth Hardesty-Crouch
This is a story about Daniel’s courage, but the rest of the story is about choosing where to put one’s ultimate loyalty.
11 The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God. 12 Then they approached the king and said concerning the interdict, “O king! Did you not sign an interdict, that anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human, within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions?” The king answered, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they responded to the king, “Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.” 14 When the king heard the charge, he was very much distressed. He was determined to save Daniel, and until the sun went down he made every effort to rescue him. 15 Then the conspirators came to the king and said to him, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no interdict or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” 16 Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!” 17 A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 19 Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20 When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
DANIEL 6:11-23 NRSV
Call to Worship
We are met in the presence of God
And we do not meet alone.
With the angels in the highest heaven
and sinners and saints of every age
We gather to worship the Lord.
Through worship, God makes of us a great people
In the desert and the den, in barrio and basilica, in palace and apartment
Glory be to God!
We gather and go in the presence of God.
And we do not journey alone.
We believe in God, whose breath gives energy for the struggle,
whose power goes beyond human weakness.
We believe in Christ, whose solidarity accompanies all our deaths,
whose life frees us to the resurrection.
We believe in the Spirit, who liberates us from powerlessness
and brings us toward all truth.
We believe in God the Holy Trinity, whose grace upholds our being,
whose unity calls us to be the church and to live out the hope of the day of God’s reign.