Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hope that Will Not Disappoint (Audio)

There's a lot more to worship than the preaching--but you can hear the 8:30 a.m. version of today's sermon by clicking here (mp3, 16 minutes).

Before the sermon we read from Second Kings 2:1-14, Psalm 50:1-6; 2nd Corinthians 4:3-7 and Mark 9:2-9.

We introduced the "Second Kings" reading by remembering how, at the end of January, I briefly mentioned the Old Testament prophet Elijah in a sermon. Elijah had been doing God’s work for a long time. He was lonely and tired. What we read today is Elijah’s retirement story. Elijah is carried to heaven in a whirlwind, leaving behind his "mantle" with which his apprentice and successor, Elisha takes on his ministry role. The "mantle" of Elijah was a hairy cloak, a "raw, undressed skin with wool and hairs" from a sheep or goat (see Hebrews 11:37). John the Baptist (Mk. 1:6: ἐνδεδυμένος τρίχας καμήλου) wore something similar. Theological dictionary of the New Testament

The point of this is that God does give rest to weary warriors and, second, that the work is picked up by the next generation, in this case, by Elijah’s apprentice, Elisha. You can listen to a commentary on this and the other texts assigned for the week at the Working Preacher website.

Coincidentally, the Second Corinthians reading includes the key verses of this year's in Lent series that begins this week on Wednesday. More info at Goofy and Cracked.

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