Part 1 of 2
Daily Office Readings for Sunday of Proper 20: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 93 and 96; Evening, Psalm 34:
2nd Kings 4:8 to 37; Acts 9:10 to 31; Luke 3:7 to 18:
“He said to Gehazi, ‘Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go. If you meet anyone, give no greeting, and if anyone greets you, do not answer; and lay my staff on the face of the child;” (2nd Kings 4:29).
While there is a lot to ponder in the reading, I want to bring to light only two points. First, the Shunammite woman makes provision for Elisha. “She said to her husband, ‘Look, I am sure that this man who regularly passes our way is a holy man of God. Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that he can stay there whenever he comes to us:” (2nd Kings 4: 9 and 10). This is the basic set-up for monastic life to this day. Also, Elisha orders Gehazi to “Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go. If you meet anyone, give no greeting, and if anyone greets you, do not answer; and lay my staff on the face of the child:” (2nd Kings 4:29). This is the same instruction our Lord Jesus gave to the seventy two as he sent them off to heal and cast out demons; (Luke 10:4). Gehazi failed at the task. Could there be something wrong with Gehazi? There will be more to follow.
Part 2 of 2
New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Proper 20: Year B
James 3:13 to 4:3 and 7 to 8a; and Mark 9:30 to 37:
“He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9: 36 and 37)
The last person to board a cross country bus is the Bus Driver. After separating us from our luggage, he or she takes his or her seat at the controls and takes us to our destination.
The bus driver is our servant. Without the driver we can’t get there. However, none of us remember his or her name. Yet, they get us where we need to be. Such is the call of the Christian; we are to work hard, perhaps only to have our names forgotten. Our call is to bring people to God. Occasionally, we help them loose the bad luggage that holds them back while keeping the good.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John