icon of guardian angel with sword in hand
A strangely reassuring celestial being?

The Uniform Series text for Sunday, January 28 is Daniel 10:10-19. Here are some questions (actually, over Daniel 10:1-19, because we will probably want to look at vv 1-9, too) that we might (or might not) want to consider in class:

Daniel has been in mourning, fasting, denying himself luxurious food and at least some form of personal care for “three weeks” (vv2-3). Assuming this has to do with what he learned in chapter 9 – why, do we think? What does this response tell us about Daniel, Daniel’s relationship to his people, his relationship to God, his understanding of God, …? Can we ourselves relate to Daniel’s response, or not? Why? What similarities do we see between ourselves in our time and Daniel in his? What differences?

Daniel alone receives the vision described in chapter 10, although his companions sense the vision, and run away and hide (v7). What might this tell us about Daniel? About “those with him”? (Why do we think this?) If it were possible to choose, which experience would we prefer to have: Daniel’s, or the others’? Why? Which do we think we would be more likely to have? Why?

Daniel receives touches from the celestial being or beings throughout the vision (vv10, 16, 18), which strengthen him. Can we think of other places in Scripture where touch has this effect on people? (More personal, perhaps: Can we think of times in our lives when touch has had this effect, either on us or others?) Does this tell us anything about human beings, or celestial beings? What? What are our thoughts or feelings about this?

The being in Daniel’s vision addresses Daniel as “greatly beloved” (v10). What impact do these words have on Daniel? Why?

Overall, how would we describe the impact of the vision on Daniel (e.g., frightening, reassuring, surprising, …)? Why do we think the vision has this impact? If it were possible to choose, how would we like God to communicate with us? Why? How does God communicate with us, or how has God communicated with us? What similarities do we see between these communications and Daniel’s vision? What differences?

One interpretation of the message of Daniel’s vision is “that God is in control of history.” Do we see this message in the text? Why or why not? What is our response to that message (e.g., reassurance, peace, questioning, …)? Why? How does it affect our understanding of, or relationship with, God to recognize God as being in control of history? Why? Are there specific implications in that message for us at present? What are those?

[Btw, the National Council of Churches’ Uniform Series website hasn’t been updated for a while, although I keep checking, because I really appreciated that “In Real Time” feature. When that changes, I’ll start including those links again.]