Refusing to eat the special diet assigned to them seems a strange place for Daniel and his fellow young Jewish exiles to draw a line. But in the Old Testament, one of the distinguishing features of God’s people was the rules they followed about what they would and would not eat and drink. Dietary choice for God’s people was not just an external manifestation of nothing much; rather, it was an external outworking of their deeply held convictions about what it meant to belong to God. Given where these young men were and what they were doing and what they…

I can’t remember the last time I experienced a season of life that demanded as many decisions as this one. Local and national government elections compelled decisive action. Families have been choosing (from less-than-ideal options) how their children should be educated during a pandemic. Some people are considering new job opportunities; others are struggling to develop new budgets with less income. Many are facing difficult tensions in close relationships. The decisions have been relentless, and I have felt desperate for discernment. At the beginning of 2020, I had not planned to read through the book of Ecclesiastes at this time,…