The family is a funny institution. We make much of being related to each other, of sharing common ancestors, common history, common DNA. We speak of fierce loyalties with phrases like “Blood is thicker than water.” As parents and children, brothers and sisters, we have bonds that go beyond words. We love each other even if we don’t particularly like each other.
He was buried alive, this man of the Gerasenes. He was alive, but he lived in a graveyard among the tombs. Modern interpreters tell us that the people possessed by demons in the Gospels probably suffered from forms of mental illness.
It’s been called a great hinge, this day of the Trinity. It stands between the two halves of the church year. The first half focuses on the life of Christ, the second half on the life of the church. While some call it a great hinge, others call it a great pain!
I was watching a PBS series on the Book of Genesis with a dozen older women at a retirement home. The segment dealt with Abram, and how he responded promptly when the Lord said to him, "Go." We listened as Lewis Smedes wondered aloud whether a tape recorder would have picked up a real "voice" of the Lord back then.
The lectionary loves to take biblical texts that share some things in common and then watch as worlds collide once differences come to light. This week’s comparison-contrast of call stories is a perfect case in point. The story in 1 Kings 19 comes directly from God’s lips to Elijah’s ears and from there to Elisha’s shoulders.