Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.1 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.2 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."3 But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."4
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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.