Proper 8 – July 1

II Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20; Galatians 5:1, 13-25; Luke 9:51-62

Lots of good things to think about in this week’s readings! The Old Testament readings continue to be about the prophet Elijah. This week we see Elijah’s final moments on earth. Elijah and Elisha are walking along, come to the Jordan River, and cross it on dry ground. Elijah says, “My time has come, what do you ask of me?”

Elisha replies, “Give me a double portion of your spirit.” This is quite a bold request. Elijah tells him watch as he leaves. If Elijah can be seen the request will be granted. If not, the request won’t be granted. Elijah is taken up in chariots of fire and Elisha can see the whole thing. Elisha had great expectations of what God can do.

I’m sure all of us have felt like psalmist. He was at a great low point. What do you do when you get there — Look at God — Not by who He is — but by what He has done. Good thought for when it seems like we are lower than the floor.

Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia is a good reminder of the line that we walk as Christians. On one side, we are free, not tied to the law, however, we are not free as Paul continues to continue in our sinful nature. We are changed. Paul is writing to the church and this is something that I have been thinking about lately. This idea of corporate holiness vs. personal holiness. Paul is writing to the church, not to individuals. We are given those great fruits of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We are told that 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Jesus reminds us of that in Luke’s gospel — being a disciple is tough work. There are hard decisions to make. Are we willing to follow the Spirit’s leading to do what Christ has called us to do? What would you have asked of Elijah? Christ calls us to follow Him more than anything.

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