Given by Rev. Madison Shockley January 10, 2021

As we read Daniel, he talked about the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes that invaded the temple/fortress and defiled it. Daniel goes on to say the king shall exalt himself so he feels greater than any god. Yet the people who stand by their God and take action will triumph in the end. Daniel talked about a king who would do anything to stay in power. He wanted to give hope to the Jewish people that they would again be able to worship in their temple. Recent events remind us of this passage. Just like in Daniel’s time, we were warned about the behavior of a power-hungry leader. In Daniel’s time, the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes debased the temple. In our time, it was the capitol in Washington, D.C.. We are at an intersection of the religious and the political. It is called Civil Religion. Some examples are the pledge and the opening of daily sessions of Congress with a prayer. This past week, the capitol was invaded and defiled by non-democratic forces acting on the words of our president. This threat goes beyond one person. We must work to remove all who are racist from positions of power. We must remove all who incite violence and injustice. We must remove those who seek personal gain and power. We must take back our sacred democratic institutions as  well as our very humanity. Our hope is in our faith in a God of justice, love, and peace.  Jesus is called “the Light.” Do you see the Light now?