A few choice words -- that's what Jesus gives us this morning -- a few choice words about our lives and faith. Just hours before being arrested, just hours before being tried and condemned, Jesus gathered his disciples around him and in all sincerity bowed his head and prayed for them and for us. These words from John 17 are part of a great discourse recorded by the gospel writer John, part of a great priestly prayer that Jesus offered up to his heavenly Father. These are words that unite us to God. And in them Jesus petitions his heavenly Father to protect us.
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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.