The second "Servant Song" continues the theme of the universal intent of the God of Israel and thus of Israel. To this day it is difficult for Israel and for the church to define what is meant by the universal. Only a few times in the Hebrew scriptures does the theme of salvation beyond Israel or of God's care for the outsider come up. Amos 9 has the Lord asking, "Are you not like the Ethiopians to me?" Who was taking care of the Philistines and the Aarameans? But these are rather dim unfoldings of divine purpose compared to the theme here: "I will give you as a light to the nations."
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.