2 Kings 2:23-25

 

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.
2 Kings 2:23-25

A friend of mine is a priest and was assigned this passage for his sermon tomorrow.

I thought it would be interesting to see what come up for me, and how I may have approached it if I was in his shoes.

The easy way out is to say, as Christians do, that the Old Testament God is a sometimes angry and vengeful God, and was replaced with a loving God with the coming of Jesus Christ.

Another easy way out is to say that this comes from a misunderstanding, from an author who is not very clear. (A little disappointing, perhaps, if that’s where we leave it, because it doesn’t leave so much to look at.)

What’s a bit more interesting for me is that it shows us our fears. Do I believe God (reality) is vengeful? Unkind? Punishing? Where does that image come from? My culture? My experiences with adults as a young child? What do I find when I investigate those thoughts?

Equally interesting is looking at the effects beliefs have on me. If I have the beliefs I imagine the children have, that he shouldn’t be there, he is worth less than others, I don’t like him, what does that do to me? When I look at it, I see that I hurt myself when I hold those beliefs. I maul myself, as the children are mauled by the bears. The verse is a quite accurate image of what I am doing to myself, and how it’s experienced if I allow myself to notice and feel it.

This last one is also about karma. Karma is not (only) something that happens in time, in the dreamworld of cause and effect as BK says. It’s immediate and here and now.

Note: I feel a bit grumpy today, so that’s why I wrote the two first possibilities in a dismissive way 🙂 I will leave it that way, since it reflects my temporary grumpiness.

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Equally interesting is looking at karma. If I had the beliefs I imagine the children have, that he shouldn’t be there, he is worth less than others, I don’t like him, what does that do to me? When I look at it, I see that I hurt myself when I hold those beliefs. I maul myself, as the children are mauled by the bears. The verse is a quite accurate image of what I am doing to myself, and how it’s experienced if I allow myself to notice and feel it. Karma is not (only) something that happens in time, in the dreamworld of cause and effect as BK says. It’s immediate and here and now.

 

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