Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 119:97-120 (Morning)
Psalm 81, 82 (Evening)
2 Kings 6:1-23
1 Cor. 5:9-6:8
Mood Swings…and Thank God for Jesus!
I was captivated with the ending of the reading from 2 Kings. God, responding to Elisha’s prayer, blinded the Aramean army and took them to Samaria. Rather than killing the army, Elisha had God restore their sight, and they fed the army. My heart warmed. This reminded me of how a loving parent responds to a difficult child: distract and disarm the child, then when everyone is safe, the parent loves and nurtures the child. Love is not denied because of misbehavior. As I read more about Elisha, I discovered that this same prophet sent two she-bears to maul 42 children because they made fun of his baldness. What a mood swing!! Don’t catch Elisha on a bad day!
It seems Paul was also having a mood swing in the passage from 1 Corinthians. “Do not associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one.” Yikes!! What a contrast to the messages of love that Paul wrote in his Letter to the Romans. We know that Paul vacillates between messages of judgment and universal love. Be sure to catch him on a good day if you’re a certain kind of “sinner”!! We have world leaders with mood swings, we have weather with mood swings…
And then there’s Jesus. Thank God for Jesus, for his consistent embodiment of compassion and acceptance for all. For his consistent message of mercy, of forgiveness, of healing, For his spoken and lived message of “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We can rest safely in the arms and message of Jesus without worrying that he’ll condemn us tomorrow with a mood swing. Thanks be to God.
Written by Cathy Campbell
Cathy is a semi-retired professional counselor and Healing Touch Practitioner. She makes a joyful sound in the choir and helps lead the Healing Touch Ministry. She tries to see the spark of Divinity in every person. She advocates for marginalized groups, especially LGBTQ people.