Archive for "September, 2010"
In a recent blog, Daniel Rouse, who teaches at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, tells of the influence his grandfather had on his decision to become a teacher. His grandfather had worked most of his life as a sharecropper in southern Indiana. He raised corn and pigs, read his Bible every day, and taught Sunday school at the local Baptist church. He built a tree house for his grandchildren, made apple cider every fall, and loved reciting poetry.
Who are the people who invested in your life? I would put my parents at the top of the list. They were my first Bible teachers and are still my biggest fans. But they are not alone. Alcie Pipe, my junior high Sunday school teacher, was the epitome of Christian patience and compassion. Dan Wilkinson and Rick Brawner were campus ministers who thought I might have gifts that could be developed–and who encouraged me to develop them. My doctoral supervisor, John Polhill, was and is a model of scholarship in the service of Christ’s church.
Elijah has dominated the narrative since his abrupt entry in 1 Kings 17:1. According to this rendering of Israel’s public life, Elijah has dominated the political life of Israel as he has dominated the narrative, preempting any initiative that might have conventionally belonged to the monarchy. But now it is time for Elijah’s “departure,” with the transfer of prophetic authority to his disciple and successor, Elisha.
The final story, 2 Kgs 2:1- I 4, l inks the ministry of Elijah with that of Elisha, just as these two ministries had been linked in 1 Kgs 19:19-21. Elijah began to journey beyond the Jordan to be taken away by Yahweh and Elisha accompanied him. In every town they visited, Elijah instructed Elisha to stay, as he had instructed his young man to stay in Beersheba earlier (1 Kgs 19:3).
If you missed celebrating International Noise Awareness Day on April 28, you weren’t alone. The movement to educate people about the harmful health effects of excessive noise got off to a good start fifteen years ago, but the momentum in the United States has slowed. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a serious problem with excessive noise.
How do you handle an unforeseen setback? Do you take a deep breath and keep plugging on, or do you collapse under the pressure and ask, “Why me?” Rolling with the punches is easier for some people than others.
Elijah (and Yahweh) have won a huge, perhaps decisive victory in chapter 18 over Baal, Ahab, and Jezebel. The struggle, however, was not yet finished. Elijah is still in jeopardy, a hunted man. In this narrative Ahab and Jezebel are present only in v. 1, but they are a heavy and ominous threat that drives the entire narrative. Ahab, moreover, defers to and appeals to Jezebel as the more dominant voice.
This story has ever been a source of conflicting judgments concerning Elijah. Sirach (48:4) claims: “How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast that you have?” Yet, Paul, the apostle, senses the pride and unbelief in Elijah’s story when he says: “Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?