Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
One empire followed another like strange beasts that emerge from
the ocean floor. Grasping and malevolent they prowl the earth in search
of peoples to consume. Later came Rome and others. Who are we?
Where do we belong in the vision of the grotesque?
John Stuart Mill described tyrants as birds of prey that picked off the
weakest of the flock. No one is safe from unchecked power. Then
comes democracy. The tyranny of the majority, warned Mill, could be
more deadly than the despots of old. Who expects to be plundered in
the name of "the people?"
Where does our faith lie? In empires and armies? In the power
of kings and the power of money? In Daniel's vision, each empire passed
before the Ancient One and was judged wanting. They came as beasts
that blighted the earth. Only one came as a man, not breathing fire,
not soaking the earth in blood. He brings true freedom. His kingdom
The three friends were cast into the furnace by an indignant king, but the
flames did not even singe them. Together they kept the faith.
They sang loudly in praise of God and the goodness of this world. Who
are these people? They must be crazy.
This month, people all over the country journey to Georgia to stand at the
gates of the army base in search of a new vision of how nations might live
together. They hear the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero: stop killing
your brothers and sisters. They see the goodness of this world.
Are they crazy?
People ask: where are the signs? Where is your God? There is
no one here but ourselves. God, we have doubts. Please increase our
desire for you. Show us your presence in nature, in history, in other
people, and in our hearts.