We are all prodigal sons in a way. Mark Twain called this parable the greatest story of love ever told. It is great in its insights about our ingratitude, but also as a testimony to forgiving love. We subject it to misinterpretation, though, when we make it seem that the father's forgiveness of wayward offspring like us is a function of our confession of sin. Methodist founder John Wesley makes that clear with an incisive remark: "So does God frequently cut an earnest confession short by a display of pardoning love" (Commentary on the Bible, p. 446).
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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.