God does not judge by appearances, but by the heart. And God’s kingdom does not look like human ideas of beauty, strength, and success. Instead, God is nimble and profligate like a weed, turning up in unexpected places, enriching our lives, and sometimes turning them on end. Today’s lessons invite us to reflect on where we find the Kingdom of God in our lives and communities, and to look again with fresh eyes for God’s work in our world.
1 Samuel 15:34--16:13
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Note: This article was originally published in 2010.
I'm sure you've heard it many times, just as I have. Grieving friends and family members at the funeral, comforting themselves and one another with phrases like "the Lord took him."
I remember particularly one case fifteen years ago that genuinely troubled me. The widow and her daughter were both crying, but they found solace in the thought that the Lord had taken their husband and father.
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.