Last Sunday after Epiphany

2 Kings 2.1-12: This moment of transfer of authority from Elijah to Elisha is of worthwhile significance in the Old Testament Canon.  Among other reasons, it simply illustrates the continuity of God’s revelation in this prophetic tradition.  Even as Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit (i.e. his authority, power, relationship with God), much of the story of Elijah is repeated (doubled) in the Elisha cycle of stories.  Whatever the details of the story, the continuity of authority and importance passing from Elijah to Elisha is essential to the narrative of God’s revelation.

Psalm 50.1-6: This psalm is unique in that it is an admonishment from God.  While most psalms appear to be songs sung to God, Psalm 50 appears to be a prophetic admonition from God to God’s people.  It is a psalm of judgement and warning.  Still hope and redemption is possible; the people must turn back to God.

2 Corinthians 4.3-6: This description of the work of the disciple of Jesus seems concerned with the incapacity of some to understand the gospel.  It seems they believe it possible for some to be distracted by the illusions of the world, preventing them from seeing the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”  Regardless, they are quite definite in their proclamation of the Gospel of God revealed in Jesus Christ.  They are equally certain of their understanding of God’s revelation that flows through them.

Mark 9.2-9: This version of the Transfiguration story involving Jesus, Elijah, and Moses is a great story of the New Testament extending the illustration of the transfer of authority we heard in today’s Old Testament reading.  Jesus, who becomes “dazzling white” is surrounded by the Jewish authority figures of Moses and Elijah.  Peter sees this and affirms the magnitude of the three characters presence in this scene.   But it is not Moses or Elijah who proclaim the transfer of authority to Jesus.  Instead, it is God who declares, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”  Again, we see the importance of the transfer of authority in God’s narrative of revelation.

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