Day of Pentecost, Year B


2 Kings 2:1-12  •  Psalm 50:1-6  •  2 Corinthians 4:3-6  •  Mark 9:2-9

Reading and understanding and internalizing scripture is not an easy
or one dimensional task.

If this week's lectionary readings were in a movie, there would be
lots of special effects.

The bible in general, and these readings specifically, has many
supernatural action scenes in it.

And as we briefly look at these scriptures, it seems important to
wonder a bit about a couple of things:
- Why so many supernatural events?
- Why do we seem to witness many fewer supernatural events today?
- What was being shown / taught in these instances when they happened?
- What is being show / taught to us as we read these stories today?

The scene from 2 Kings is fantastic. Elisha is Elijah's student.
Elijah knows that God is about to take him up in to heaven by a
whirlwind, and he is trying to get some time away from Elisha so he
can do this. However, Elisha also knew that the time was upon them for
Elijah to be taken up in to heaven by a whirlwind, and he was sticking
close to his teacher because he didn't want to miss it. And so the two
of them finally get off by themselves, Elijah rolls up his jacket, and
strikes the Jordan river which parts for them to cross (more special
effects!). And then Elisha asks Elijah to give him a double share of
Elijah's spirit when he leaves. The scene ends as they are walking and
"a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and
Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven". Woah.

I think that a short video vignette interpretation of Psalm 50 would
be fantastic to watch. Imagine what it would look like. Here are the
first 6 verses of the Psalm:
1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD,
 speaks and summons the earth
 from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
 God shines forth.
3 Our God comes
 and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
 and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
 and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me this consecrated people,
 who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
 for he is a God of justice.

The passage from the gospel of Mark gives us the scene referred to as
The Transfiguration. Jesus takes some disciples up a mountain with him
to pray, as he prays "his clothes became dazzling white...and there
appeared to them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus....then
a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice,
"this is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!" Wow. What a fantastic

And in the passage from Paul's second letter to the followers of Jesus
in Corinth, Paul offers some cryptic imagery in his explanation.  He
talks of the gospel being 'veiled' to some people and that some people
are 'blinded' and kept "from seeing the light of the gospel of the
glory of Christ." He goes on to talk about letting light shine out of
darkness. The visual image of this passage is super important as we
try to understand the purpose of the passage.

It is tough to understand the WORDS of scripture without trying to see
the IMAGES found there.

And in these scenes of supernatural happenings, we have to engage the
words and the images and then attempt to engage what all of those
things might have to do with one another and with us.

Reading and understanding and internalizing scripture is not an easy
or one dimensional task.

guide us as we attempt
to listen
to hear
to see
to visualize
to smell
to touch
to take in
to feel
to hold on to
and to internalize
Your Word.

© matt norvell 2012 we want to share
this with you and hope you'll share with the world; we simply ask that
you let people know where you found these words. May Grace & Peace be
with you.


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