Fairhaven Shorts 2-4-2024

The Final Journey Of Elijah

In our passage, starting with the passage from 2 Kings today, we join the prophet Elijah on the last day of his life. Now Elijah knew this was his last day. How he knew that, we are not told. But he does run into groups of prophets along throughout the day who all predict his demise.

And so God must have been revealing this in some way or other. Now death is a very personal thing. It's not something we often talk about, but none of us can avoid it. Being born, by definition, means that someday death will come.

And as a pastor, I'm often called to be present when someone is seriously ill or dying, or to be with a family with someone who has died. And what I've seen is that everyone approaches death differently, and everyone experiences death differently. Death is an epiphany, in a sense. It's a revealing of a different kind.

Jesus' Authority and Compassion Revealed

Two weeks ago in our Gospel lesson, we saw Jesus preaching in Capernaum. And we saw him interrupted by a man possessed by a demon, and we saw Jesus cast out that demon and heal the man. And Mark tells us the people were amazed and astonished at what they saw and heard. And they said to each other, No one has ever taught like this before.

He teaches with authority, not like the scribes. So two weeks ago, Jesus' authority was revealed. Last week, our Gospel lesson talked about what happened in Capernaum later that day. Jesus went with the disciples to the home of Peter's mother-in-law.

When they arrived, they found the mother-in-law was ill, but Jesus healed her. And she got up, and everybody had lunch together. And then she and the disciples and Jesus shared a relaxing Sabbath afternoon together. The rest of the village of Capernaum that day was basically doing the same thing, because it was the Sabbath, and they were most likely talking about everything that happened in synagogue that morning.

And as soon as the Sabbath was over, the entire village showed up at the door of Peter's mother-in-law's house, bringing with them all the sick people and anyone who had demons. Jesus healed them all.