May 29 – June 4
I Kings 8:22-23, 41-43
Our reading today is a bland story of Solomon’s prayer for his people and their visitors from abroad. I find it hard to believe that our bishops should have changed their minds and set aside what used to be our reading for this day, the exciting, even terrifying story of Elijah’s contest with the Baal priests. You ought to read it for yourself: I Kings 18:17-46.
Paul ends multiple copies a letter to the several local churches in the area called Galatia, now the central part of Turkey. His authority has been challenged because he was not commissioned to spread the word by the original Christian Church at Jerusalem. His answer amounts to saying that he was commissioned by God, not be humans. He makes brief reference to his earlier enmity to Christians, his leadership in their persecution, and his conversion. Paul began his ministry on his own in Arabia and did not go to the Church leaders in Jerusalem for three years. When he did go, he conferred only with Cephas (that is, Peter) and James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jerusalem Christians. Oddly, this first of Paul’s two visits to Jerusalem is not told about in Acts.