“At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. ~ Daniel 12:1-3
The book of Daniel is a piece of apocalyptic literature - a book of revelation or unveiling - which contains visions of Daniel an exiled Jew living in Babylon.
Daniel's visions had to do with the future of his people and might be difficult for us to find much connection with, except that for millennium after millennium, our imaginations have been sparked about what everlasting life looks like.
What is it you imagine?
When you hear of those sleeping in the dust waking up, what does that look like to you?
The truth is, we don't know. But we have images from scripture to poke our thoughts and inspirations. We have stories that have been passed down.
Are we going to see loved ones again?
Or will it seem like we are someone entirely new?
And what will that anguish be that comes first?
For people living in anguish, there is hope in these words. Maybe for you there is hope, especially when we think about how divided and frightening so much of our world is right now.
The word that strikes me most here is "delivered." We may not understand completely what end times will be. But we can have confidence whatever it looks like, God's got it. Delivery and hope are there always waiting for us.
O, God, my hope and my deliverance: help me to trust in you always, even when times are frightening. Amen