Sunday, February 5, 2012

Confusion: Year B, Ordinary 6

This Week's Lectionary Texts

This Week's Reflection
Bokeh Texture 003 by Poe Tatum
Don’t you love movies and television shows that are able to do the unexpected? I think most folks do which is why previews for movies so often boast, “The ending you won’t see coming,” or “Filled with surprises.”

So, why do we get upset when the Bible does the same to us? Okay, I’m taking for granted that you may think like I think and now I’m realizing how unlikely that really is. When I read the texts for this week, particularly the text from 1 Kings, I laughed out loud at how unexpected, if not silly, it seems.

Electric Jungle by Universal Pops
Here is what should have happened. A girl wants to help a man who is sick. She tells him of a person who can make him well. That man goes to his boss asking for permission to be off from work. The boss graciously offers to write the guy a note so that there will be no thinking he is shirking his responsibilities. When the man gives the note to the healer’s boss, that boss welcomes him in, gives him a chair and asks him to wait while he retrieves his employee. The healer shows up, practices a good bedside manner and makes the guy well. And, of course, everyone becomes great friends and live happily ever after.

Read the Kings text. Go on. I’ll wait.

Do you see it? What in the heck is going on here? The first part of the story seems okay, but then the King of Israel takes the letter as an insult and if someone had not overheard what was happening and if Elisha had not intervened, war could have erupted between two kings over a lack of communication. But, that isn’t the only twist to the story. The guy seeking to be healed from leprosy doesn’t like the manner in which Elisha prescribes healing and almost stomps home in disgust without even receiving the benefits. If not for some loyal companions who spoke a word of sense to him, he would have made that trip for nothing.

Clarity, Confusion by The Jordan Collective
Confused? I am. And, Jesus doesn’t really help me with this one because in the Mark text, he heals another leper and begs him to not tell anyone about it. And, rather than keeping the secret at the request of Jesus Christ, the guy goes about blabbing the secret to everyone he meets which makes it hard for Jesus to go anywhere anymore.

Then, there is Paul, the master of the convoluted sentence structure, talking about running races without being aimless and enslaving one’s body so that he isn’t accused of being inauthentic.

So, what in the world is God saying through these lectionary texts this week? Maybe not being able to find a pat answer is the answer.
Artwork appears through Creative Common License.