Now Is The Time Lent Study

Great power - Reflections - 6-23-16

Texts for Sunday, June 26, 2016

1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Psalm 16
Galatians 5:, 1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

The story begins: 
Two kids, two states; one the oldest of a family, the other, the youngest; one male, one female; one city, one rural...yet one thing in common: Spiderman comics.

Blame that on the down time with a sinus infection….

So, as kids both my husband and I read “super hero” comics – his favorites: Daredevil and Spiderman; my favorites: Fantastic Four (hey – there was a female hero in it…) and Spiderman. We both watched “it’s a bird, its’ a plane, it’s Superman” on black and white TV, as well as that wonderfully goofy series Batman < - POW – BIFF – SPLAT - > piece of superhero trivia…PAM was one of the Bat-fight words.

 But "Spidey" was always the favorite. Because of that background, I feel I am legitimately qualified to make this comment about the disciples in the first part of the Gospel text:

Dear James and John: “with great power comes great responsibility”. Guys, you have been hanging around Jesus for a while. He has shown compassion and forgiveness to all kinds of people, including sinners, tax collectors and Gentiles. He has healed people from illness and demons, and even raised a couple of people from the dead. He taught people what life looks like in God’s kingdom. People have gathered just to hear him teach…you know, with words like, “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other". You have been given the power to see all that and live all that. Engage brain before putting mouth in gear.

I think I was drawn to this response by the disciples because raining fire down upon heads is today's answer to most disagreements.

The second story in this text challenges us to think about what our priorities are when it comes to the Kingdom. Jesus lays out some tough choices for the would-be followers. No welcome, no need to let go of everything  and everyone.

It is also important to recognize that these verses form a major transition in Luke…. we move from Jesus ministry in Galilee to turning his face toward Jerusalem. Sounds determined – he is keeping his eye on the ball….you know, on the end of the story with its rejection, ridicule, torture, crucifixion and death. It is a serious context. It is the key to understanding the power at work.

With great Love comes great responsibility...

Your comments are welcome below.

More reflections on these texts on Sunday's G.I.F.T. post.

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Iowa City, IA 52245