Sunday, February 19, 2012: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

A Reading from the Second Book of Kings (2:1-12)


Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”  Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”  He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.


> Elijah to Elisha transition

> Prophets in Bethel were like guilds.

> Elisha knows he is about to lose his master.

> Reenactment of the parting of the waters

> “Double portion” (i.e. the eldest son’s share) will go to Elisha if he sees Elijah ascend to heaven.

> Elisha sees him and gets the double share.

> He sees the Elijah is the true protector of Israel.

> Elijah never dies as he ascended to heaven in a chariot.

> He will return when the Lord comes again.



PSALM 50:1-6


1  The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; *

     he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

2  Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *

     God reveals himself in glory.

3  Our God will come and will not keep silence; *

     before him there is a consuming flame,

     and round about him a raging storm.

4   He calls the heavens and the earth from above *

     to witness the judgment of his people.

5   “Gather before me my loyal followers, *

     those who have made a covenant with me and sealed it with sacrifice.”

6   Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *

     for God himself is judge.


> Grandeur and power of God shown here

> Used at beginning of Lent

> Judgment scene with the people of Israel

> God is the accuser, prosecutor, and judge.



A Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (4:3-6)


If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


> About the Epiphany season – showing forth of Jesus

> Theme of God’s glory in the face of Jesus.



 The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (19:2-9)


Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”  Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.


> Six days later after the recognition by Peter the Jesus is the Messiah

> It remains a mystery until the people now realize that Jesus is the son of God.

> The voice of God comes from the clouds to announce that Jesus is his son.

> Jesus is transfigured as Moses and Elisha are with him.

> They represent the prophets and the law of the Old Testament.

> God is speaking to Peter, James, and John, “Jesus is my son.”