Saturday, February 11, 2012
February 19, 2012
Scriptures for February 19th: 2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Mark 9:2-9 Theme: Preparing ourselves for lent – Transfiguration Sunday; Song: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot UMH 703 2 Kings: This is the most meaningful bible story for me, with my two favorite characters. Elijah and Elisha. The most important prophet of all time and his protégé. As a matter of fact, this story is about exchanging of power between the two. Elijah knows that he cannot live forever, and that he will not be the prophet of his people – he must turn that mantle over to Elisha. He asks his protégé what gift would he like. Elisha, says that I want to be twice as good as you. He realizes that Elijah is powerful, and he wants to be twice as powerful as Elijah. Elijah one of the few people in the Bible, who does not experience death. Instead, God comes to carry him away. Elijah wants to be alone at the moment, the Elisha will not let him. Elisha is rewarded in his efforts, because he sees his master taken away, and he inherits a double portion of his power. We never hear who Elisha’s protégé was, or how we continued the work of spreading the message of God. But we can celebrate that God is still spreading the message of salvation today. We who hear the story of Elijah and Elisha, also know the God of which they speak. Mark: Today is the story of the transfiguration. The divine nature of Jesus is revealed to those who faithfully follow him. His closest disciples listen to him every day, and yet they have no idea of who they are with. Jesus tries to give them clues, he tries to give them the strength to see the truth. But the disciples do not understand. Jesus tells them (and us many times) to stay awake pay attention, but they fall asleep anyway. And they miss the time that Moses and Elijah come to visit him, and it looks as if his body is transfigured. This story always marks the beginning of the Lenten season. It is a story of transition from the new to the old. It proves that the prophets of old are fully behind Jesus in his work of salvation. Now that he has their support, he can walk to the cross and not worry about what that means for him. The disciples understand the significance of this story once Jesus is resurrected, is risen from the dead. Questions: Who have been the important mentors in your life? What qualities did you inherit from them? How have you passed those qualities onto the next generation? Who have you mentored? What qualities are important to doing the work of salvation today? How is today a transitional time for our faith? What things are changing? What things are staying the same? What is it that we still don’t understand about the mission of Jesus to the world today? How is our understanding of Jesus different from what it was even last year? Does that mean that the transfiguration is still important and happening today?