Sunday, October 01, 2006

Numbers 11 (Year B, Proper 21; 17 Pentecost)

Today's appointed lesson is taken from Numbers 11. Focus for a moment on vv. 26-29 toward the end of the reading, where Eldad and Medad prophesy back at the camp, away from Moses and the other elders out at the wilderness tent.


They are inspired--the Spirit rests on them--apart from the normal chain of command, apart from any hierarchy of authority under Moses. And the passage says that that's how God wants it.

At least one thing is clear from this. It is arrogant and reckless ever to assume that God's purpose and Word are known, routine, and identified with the powers that be. No structure or symbol of power on earth, no matter how right and good it is, can ever define God. Neither can any religious or political authority on earth ever claim 20/20 spiritual insight. It's worth noting.

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