Read: Daniel 6:10-12,16-23
The king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
Let the Lions Roar!
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
While the sight of Halloween decorations and filled candy bowls for trick-or-treaters is everywhere, there’s another holiday we celebrate on October 31: the Festival of the Lutheran Reformation.
What exactly are we celebrating on that day? Well, we’ll talk a bit about a young priest named Martin Luther who boldly confessed that God’s people are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, as revealed in Scripture alone. Martin Luther wasn’t afraid to take a public stand even when others were afraid to. The impact of his actions is why our church includes Lutheran in its name.
But there’s something more important we are celebrating than a name on a church sign. What we are really celebrating is the same thing we see in today’s Scripture about Daniel being saved from the den of lions in Babylon. We don’t praise or worship Daniel for keeping the lions’ mouths shut. We don’t praise or worship Martin Luther for standing on God’s Word. But they are examples of human beings who looked only to Jesus, the Lord of the Church, to save them. Jesus is the true reason that God’s truth is still at work in the world today.
It is awesome to see how God works in history through people like Daniel and Martin Luther. Their stories are awe-inspiring. We learn what it means to be brave and stand on God’s Word when our reputations, or even our lives, are on the line. We learn a lot about what it means to trust in God when we don’t know what lies ahead in the future. But when it comes to human beings like Daniel or Martin Luther, what their lives and stories really do is remind us that God is in control, God will cause his Church to survive, and God will never let the truth of his Word pass away.
When it comes to you and the times you can’t go to sleep because you’re thinking and growing anxious about your life and world, when the lions begin to roar in your head… let them roar! They’ve been tamed and defeated by the Lamb of God!
Dear Jesus, when I’m afraid because of what I’ve done or what’s happening around me, help me to stop staring at those lions and look at you, the Lamb of God who shapes and keeps safe my life. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Daniel was locked in a den of lions for an entire night. How would you feel if that was you?
- You might not ever face the possibility of being thrown in a lions’ den… but how can you show trust in God like Daniel did?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Daniel knew there was a chance that the lions would kill him. Martin Luther faced the threat of death too. What did they know would happen to them if their lives would end?
- Remembering examples of God’s people being brave is helpful to us. Can you think of another example, whether from your life, from history, or from the Bible, of someone who stood up for God and his truth even when it was hard? (Hint: The greatest example is Jesus on the cross for us.)
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Daniel to keep the windows shut and pray in secret? Why did he do you think he did it?
- What does the name “Lutheran” on your church sign mean to you? What does it say to your community?