Isaiah was a prophet in a time of crisis for God’s people. They had had the same king for over fifty years. While he had not always done right, he had actually been a good and effective king. Isaiah comes to the temple and has a mountaintop experience with God. He experiences the shattering holiness of God and is struck by the fact that he, Isaiah, is “a man of unclean lips” who also lives “among people of unclean lips.” If we believe words are incidental, we need only think about Isaiah’s revelation of the glory of God. Isaiah was distressed at what was passing through his lips.
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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.