Lesson 1: Jeremiah 31:7-14 (C, E) Yahweh promises to rebuild the nation of Israel. God's word is one of hope through restoration of the exiles to their homeland. Previously Jeremiah had the unpleasant task of giving God's word as a message of doom, destruction and exile. Now, God has him give a message for the period after the Babylonian captivity. Through Jeremiah God has a word of hope by promising the gathering and returning the exiles to Zion.
Lesson 1: Isaiah 61:10-62:3 (L) Recounting the love and goodness of God to his people.
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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.