If you are able, go ahead and stand up as you prepare to read today’s scripture passage found on the “Listen” page. If you would like, take your shoes off so you can feel the ground beneath you. Go ahead, really… stand up.

Take a moment to feel the ground underneath your feet. Press down all ten of your toes. Become aware of what the ground feels like. Is it rough? Is it soft and welcoming? Turn your awareness to the earth supporting you as you stand, feeling the strength in your feet.

Now before you go on, take three deep, strong breaths as you stand tall, ready to experience God’s Word today.

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Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar: “We don’t need to answer your question. If our God—the one we serve—is able to rescue us from the furnace of flaming fire and from your power, Your Majesty, then let him rescue us. But if he doesn’t, know this for certain, Your Majesty: we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you’ve set up.”

Daniel 3:16-18

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There’s a scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Gryffindor and Slytherin both show up to use the quidditch practice field and a squabble ensues. Draco Malfoy begins making fun of the others and throws a hurtful insult at Hermione, calling her a “mudblood.” In an attempt to be a hero and stand up for what is right, Ron tries to cast a spell on Malfoy, but it backfires epically, causing Ron to vomit slugs. The good guy doesn’t always win in the moment, does he?

In response to King Nebuchadnezzar’s snarky challenge, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego wouldn’t have necessarily been in the wrong had they boasted in their faith that God would save them. It’s easy to imagine that they might have flaunted confidently that God would in fact rescue them… but what if God didn’t? Sometimes in life, it seems like the “bad guys” win. We might not always get the result we are hoping for. Sometimes standing firm for what is right makes us look foolish. Stand firm anyway.

Sara Hunt-Felke

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God of all righteousness, even when it might make me look foolish, I want to stand for justice and love. Help me to be brave as I seek to stand firm for what you call right. Amen.

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Today, may you stand firm.

Stand firmly aware that the God who walked in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is the same God who walks this road with you.

May you stand firm on the foundation built for you by the God who loves you fiercely.

Sara Hunt

Sara Hunt-Felke lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband TJ, their daughter Adelina and their dog “Monk.” Sara is a Hospital Chaplain and in her free time enjoys a good cup of coffee, baking, and spending time outside in God’s creation

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Jon Chacko

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