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Sunday School – 9:00AM * Worship – 10:30AM

December 3, 2017 – The First Sunday of Advent – Repeated Stories

Daniel 3:1, 8-30 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; God present in the fiery furnace.
John 18:36-37 My kingdom is not from here
Chrismon – Crown
Repeated Stories

I remember this story. I learned it as a child, along with Daniel and the lions’ den. I remember that the story was about Jesus – who else could the fourth person in the fiery furnace be? It had to be Jesus – this was a Bible story.
As I grew, I read the book of Esther, and saw some similarities to that story in this story, and to Exodus. I read legends and history, and found similarities to the legend of William tell in 14 th century Switzerland. The story is not ultimately about the fiery furnace. It’s about who gets put into it and why. The why is simple – these are followers of the One True God who will not kneel to anything or anyone but God. We don’t learn their Hebrew names, but rather, know them by their Chaldean names, the names given by Babylon. The three men in the fiery furnace are believers who say to earthly power that heavenly power is stronger. 
Ultimately, they are vindicated. Ultimately. Not without trouble, without fire, without persecution. We hear this story in Esther. We hear it again in Daniel. We hear it again, and again, and again. What is the message that we need to hear, so that we hear it over and over and over again? When else have you heard this story? When are you hearing this story?