The greatest saga ever written: this weeklong journey from Palm Sunday to Easter morning. Look at today's gospel -- it has all the ingredients of a first-rate drama. It opens with a mysterious woman anointing the feet of our enigmatic leader -- foreshadowing a death, he says. Our hero shows us a great range of emotion, from frustration with the sleeping disciples, to seemingly misplaced complacency when soldiers arrive, to anguish on the cross. There is some action in the form of a severed ear. We even get a glimmer of humor when we hear about the naked man running around in the garden.
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I have just recently returned from an out-of-town trip, and as I read our selected passages for this week, I find myself reminded of the days leading up to that trip. With a few exceptions, most of the traveling that you and I do is known in advance and planned. And therefore the days leading up to our departure are filled with deliberate preparations.
Mark Ellingsen Ron Love Bonnie Bates Bill Thomas Frank Ramirez Bob Ove
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14 In an economy like ours that values flexibility, experience and loyalty matter less and less (Alan Wolfe, Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in World of Choice, pp.23ff .). The loyalty to legacy is what this story of Elijah and Elisha’s loyalty to the former’s prophetic legacy is all about.
Faith involves this kind of loyalty to roots. What Pope Paul VI once said about the liturgy could be applied to Christian life in general:
I think that we are in a battle for the soul of the church. I'm not just talking about my Presbyterian denomination, although it certainly has its problems. I'm suggesting that we are in a battle for the soul of the whole church in our time.