1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 (NRSV)
Following God is a dangerous commitment. You are either all for it or not at all. Even though Elisha didn’t know Elijah (or maybe he did but only through rumor) yet he let go of everything to follow Elijah. A pair of good oxen even in the late 19th century cost a small fortune, for those animals were the farmer’s livelyhood. And yet here was Elisha. He slaughtered the animals and used the wood to cook the meat and then left with Elijah. That’s commitment. May we be the same today and show that kind of trust towards God.
Psalm 16 (NRSV)
Song of Trust and Security in God
A Miktam of David.
1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
in whom is all my delight.
4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names upon my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
10 For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.
11 You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Galatians 5:1, 13-25 (NRSV)
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians we continue the same theme as from the Old Testament reading in that the yoke signifies slavery in all it’s forms. Yet here God in Christ comes along and destroys the yoke and we are free from the bondage of sin so we can live in Christ. Instead of living life through the flesh we are given the Fruits of the Spirit which are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. We can’t help but live that way when God is in control, and may we be filled with joy and love towards one another no matter the persuasion.
Luke 9:51-62 (NRSV)
In the Gospel we see a completely different take on the issues of acceptance and forgiveness. We see the ones that refused to listen, Samaritans this time and find out Jesus’ reactions. What is very telling, or interesting, is seeing how Jesus handled people who wished to head back to their families to say goodby before following Jesus. Following him is a dangerous prospect. The question is if we are ready to follow through on his demand.