It’s Cool in the Furnace

Sunday, March 3. This captivating tale highlights the adventures and antics of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with humor, action, and spiritual heart. It is directed by Bruce Miller (former artistic director of Virginia Repertory Theatre) with musical direction from Suzanne Riehl (FPC Minister of Music).

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About the Musical

The wonder-filled story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego has captured the hearts of young children and adults for centuries.  We can easily find numerous stories of Jewish and Christian martyrs throughout the Bible, men who sacrificed their lives rather than deny their faith in the one true God.  John the Baptist, the disciple James, Stephen, Peter, Paul, and of course Jesus himself come quickly to mind.  

 Appearing in the third chapter of Daniel and taking place during the Babylonian captivity, our story of the three would-be martyrs with funny names who enter the fiery furnace and live to tell the tale is unique in that it is that rare story in which God intercedes and nips martyrdom in the bud.  When sentenced to certain death, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego don’t even put up a fight.

We can’t help but be amazed by their faith and their conviction that God will save them from King Nebuchadnezzar’s unfounded punishment.  Their acknowledgment of God’s superiority over the world’s most powerful ruler results not only in their survival, but also in God’s supreme power being revealed to a nation of unbelievers.  The message of the story is clearly that God, and our trust in God, can help even today to deliver us from problems and trials.

As believers, we know that God is able to deliver.  We also know that He doesn’t always do so.  Romans 5 tells us that God may allow trials and difficulties in our lives to build our character, strengthen our faith, or work His will in ways unknown and unknowable.  We may not always understand the purpose of our trials, but God nonetheless asks that we trust Him—even when it isn’t easy.

We hope you enjoy today’s worship service, and gain some reassurance from its message. We hope you’ll join with the WAMM choir as they proclaim: “Praise the Lord in the Holy Place, praise Him in the firmament.  Praise the Lord for His mighty acts.  Praise Him for his Excellence!”

—Bruce Miller

FPC Richmond