Today, the daily lectionary simultaneously starts two new books: Daniel and 1 John (with 2 and 3 John to follow). I don't remember starting two books at the same time, at least not for a while, but I'm looking forward to reading and praying through these over the coming weeks. I am especially looking forward to reading Daniel through the lenses of the early church fathers--I think we're in for some surprises, as usual!
By way of themes in Daniel, here's what to expect per C. Thomas McCollough, the editor for Daniel in the ACCS commentary:
unpacking the predictive and eschatological elements: here's where most contemporary American Christians will be challenged--the fathers didn't read/interpret using rigid literalism, so the "left behind" sort of paradigm familiar to most will be noticeably absent
practical Christian living: especially in light of Daniel and his companions' behavior while in the court of the Babylonian kings
divine punishment and penance: in view of Nebuchadnezzar's madness
the person and work of Christ: pulling on and developing the theme of the "Son of Man"
Grab your bibles and hold on. It's going to be fun!