|Saddle Horse in Palestine - Singer Sargent|
- 2 Kings 5:1-14 and Psalm 30 • Isaiah 66:10-14 and Psalm 66:1-9 • Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16 • Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
Three features of this Gospel episode seem especially important. First, the people Jesus chose to spread the word of God’s kingdom on earth were not highly educated, politically powerful or socially prestigious, but notably ordinary. These are ‘simple folk’, and in the verses that follow the lectionary extract, Jesus underlines that fact. Secondly, he gives them the power to do some very remarkable things. This is in sharp contrast to their normal powerlessness within the prevailing social and political structures. No wonder they return from their excursions ‘with joy’.
|Sacred Flame - Kazuo Shiraga|
In the accompanying Epistle, Paul identifies very precisely a special danger confronting those who find themselves possessed of unusual spiritual gifts. He warns the Galatians: ‘If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit’. The warning is apt, but cannot disguise the great challenge that this presents to anyone who believes God speaks to them in a special way. The temptation is to use spiritual insight to limited human ends. Sometimes, as in the case of suicide bombers, this results in pursuing political goals with brutal disregard for others.