By stages

30 June 2013
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 8C (RCL)
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm 77:1-2,11-20
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

After Elijah heard the sound of silence on the mountain of the Lord, God told him to return by way of the wilderness of Damascus, and to anoint Hazael King of Aram, Jehu King of Israel and Elisha as prophet in his place. Whoever, says God, Hazael doesn’t kill, Jehu will kill, and whoever Jehu doesn’t kill, Elisha will kill, until only 7000 remain in Israel who have not bowed the knee to Ba’al. Not a happy errand. No wonder, then, that Elijah doesn’t complete his errand. He throws his mantle over Elisha, and leaves it to Elisha to anoint Hazael and Jehu.

At his first encounter with Elisha, Elijah throws his mantle on him, and invites to come follow. Elisha responds, “First, let me go and kiss my father and mother.” Elijah replies, “What have I to do with you?” — do what you want. Elisha does not return to kiss his father and mother, but slaughters the yoke of oxen he is plowing with, and cooks them over the equipment he was using. He has just done away with all the capital he had in the world. He now has no choice but to follow Elijah Continue reading “By stages”

Canceled debts

16 May 2013
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 6C (RCL)
1 Kings 21:1-21a
Psalm 5:1-8
Galatians 2:15-21
Luke 7:36 – 8:3

With the reading from Kings this week, we get to the heart of Ahab’s sins. The worship of other gods (Ba’al and Asherah) lead directly into economic conflict. Ba’al and Asherah guarantee fertility, but they are also not connected to the land in the same way YHWH is. Ahab, taking the role of a monarch, tries to buy Naboth’s land. Naboth understands that the sell his land is to lose his presence on the land, and therefore his presence to YHWH, or to say it another way, his stake in God’s covenant with the people.

Jezebel, coming from Sidon Continue reading “Canceled debts”