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2.01.2006

The Woman from Shunem

She doesn't ask for a son, but Elisha says she will be blessed with one.
She conceives and bears a son.
The son grows older, becomes ill, then dies.
The mother goes to Elisha, at wits end because she didn't ask for this son, was given the son, and then he is taken from her.
Elisha returns to her home and the boy lives again.

So

  • do I preach on the power of her faith in the healing power of Elisha? maybe.
  • do I preach on how angry she is that God gives and then God takes away? maybe.
  • do I preach on how wonderful Elisha is in that he not only "gives" her a child once, but does so a second time through a resurrection miracle? maybe.

or

  • do I go right to the gospel and talk about the importance of self-care after caretaking!? - or is that of caretaking immediately after being cared for!?

So this is why preaching every Sunday is challenging. . . Thoughts anyone? Other directions?

3 comments:

Being Shielded said...

The place God has in caretaking. Caretakers often get so overwhelmed, they think they have to do it themselves -- no one is allowed to help, not even God. Caretakers need help and respite. I'd go with the importance of the community and God in caretaking.

Ryan said...

For an alternative view - If I were sitting in the pews, I would want preaching on something about Elisha and "the Woman from Shunem". I'm tired of hearing about self-care. But, more importantly, what does your congregation need to hear. If they need to hear about self-care, then go for it.

-R

newepiscopalian said...

Nice blog! Interesting that the Gospel and the Elisha tale are both about women who do not ask for anything. Why do they trust so much (men ask Jesus to help, women simply believe). Both women help their holy friends, without being asked. We all could be more like them. The Psalm fits in somehow, a request for help.