Thoughts for Saturday 23rd May, 2020

Psalm 93; 2 Kings 2:13-15; John 8:21-30

Saturday 23 May - Rev. Jerry Eve

Yesterday, I suggested that one of the ways to interpret Psalm 93 was to look, first of all, at all the nouns. There’s a ‘Lord’ in each of the five verses, and then King, Majesty, Strength, Earth, Throne, Time, Ocean (twice), Voice, Heaven, Waves, Sea, Temple, Beginning and Laws. Given that most of these are relatively ‘big’ (what a Primary School Teacher might call ‘wow’) words, all tends to render this an impressive psalm. I then suggested we look for repetition, and you’ll notice we have firm and firmly, ‘raise their voice’ twice, and ‘roar’ twice; all adding to the impressive impression the psalm leaves us with of God, and faith in God.

The story of Elisha is good, but as can happen, our attempts to emulate our ancestors’ achievements can find us wanting. I remember a Church History lecture about the difference between Calvin and Calvinism, and how, in the lecturer’s opinion, the shine had been well and truly taken off John Calvin’s brilliance by his followers. Elisha was a good prophet, we might say, but not great in the way Elijah had been.

In the New Testament Elisha is only mentioned once. It’s quite a good mention, however. It’s a reference to the time he cured Naaman the Syrian of leprosy. Elijah, by contrast, is mentioned 29 times. For example, although John the Baptist modestly denies this (John 1:21), Jesus claims that John is Elijah reincarnate (see e.g. Matthew 11:14, 17:10-13). There are also claims by some that Jesus is Elijah reincarnate (Matthew 16:14). Elijah is present at the time of Jesus’ Tranfiguration (Matthew 17:3-4). On the cross, people confuse the use by Jesus of the word Eli for God (Matthew 27:47-49) as Jesus calling out to Elijah to save him. And there are references to miracles performed by Elijah as well. If you go onto the Bible Gateway website, pick an English translation, and then key in his name, you’ll see all the references there are.

Coming now to our New Testament reading, this is from John who, right from the start can be more difficult to read than Matthew, Mark and Luke. It’s more what we might call ‘philosophical’. But, please don’t let that put you off. The things Jesus is saying aren’t just puzzling for the Jewish authorities, but if it made enough sense to those who first heard him say these things for them to believe, then it’s worthwhile us persevering with the text, and trying to discern what it means for us as well.

Let us pray:

Collect of the Day (Scottish Episcopal Church)

O God, from whom all good things arise:
grant such grace to those who call on you,
that, by your inspiration,
we may ponder those things that are right,
and, by your guidance, do them;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.

God most holy, we give you thanks for bringing us out of the shadow of night into the light of morning; and we ask you for the joy of spending this day in your service, so that when evening comes, we may once more give you thanks, through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.


Let us bless the Lord:
Thanks be to God!

The Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil;
and bring us to life eternal.


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