Reflection: (For further reading: Daniel 6:10-24)
Daniel experienced forced migration and re-education. Jewish culture was at risk of being lost in the face of the Babylonian’s assimilation strategy.
Migrants often seek upward mobility and seek to assimilate quickly. Those who are minorities under an oppressive power often find themselves sacrificing their heritage cultures in order to survive and find favour in their host country.
However, Daniel does not relegate his ethno-religious self to his private life, he is respectful to the Babylonians yet confident in his God. He asks for vegetables instead of the king’s food and wine. He prays in view of the public. He does this at the risk of playing into his enemies’ hands, losing his hard-won position, and his life.
But because of Daniel, the Babylonian and Persian kings glorify the true God.
Question: When you find yourself different from everyone else, how do you feel? How are you tempted to respond?
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, even when it feels like Christians are losing the culture war, help us not to seek power or compromise our faith, but like Daniel, express our faith in a respectful, measured and confident way. Amen.