A sermon outline I have always remembered was given by Dr. Wayne Clymer when he
was teaching at Evangelical Theological Seminary. He later served as bishop in the
United Methodist church. He summed up the three attitudes of those involved in the story
of the good Samaritan in this way: The robbers had the attitude, "What's yours is mine
and I'll take it." The priest and the Levite had the attitude, "What's mine is mine and I'll
keep it," so they concealed their identities, not even sharing when there was a life to be
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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.