The Israelites were familiar with building. When God talks to Amos about plumb lines, they can relate. Plumb lines have been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians to help builders ensure that their buildings are upright. After having spent generations as slaves in Egypt, Israelites were no doubt very familiar with tools like the plumb line. But building for the Egyptians was not all the building that the Israelites had done. After their escape from Egypt, Moses' people built the nation of Israel for themselves, and in Israel built the temple at Jerusalem.
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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.