A Daily Dose of Good News
Friday, May 22, 2020
Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”
Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. (2 Kings 2:1-12)
Deputized by the King
It’s always a blessing to learn from the best.
And Elisha had been a following and learning the quintessential prophet Elijah all along:
Afflicting the comfortable with the truth of God’s kingdom with justice and righteousness…
Comforting the afflicted with the truth of God’s mercy and grace…
Inspiring liveliness from near dead people…
Then with the courage to accompany Elijah
All the way to the moment that he is bodily assumed into heaven,
Elisha’s been steeled to embark on his own prophetic vocation
In the tradition of the prophet he followed
And the God who inspired them both.
As followers of Jesus,
Now ascended to reign over all the universe …
At the wheel of all existence
As we discussed yesterday …
Jesus deputizes us at his departure
Similar to the way Elijah deputized Elisha.
Having promised to send power from on high when he leaves,
Jesus instructs us to direct that power
Toward the purpose of making other followers …
The making of disciples …
Starting from Jerusalem and Judea
And then going to the ends of the earth.
And if you want to find a the ends of the earth
Take note now of the place you are standing …
The place you are sitting.
Jesus has deputized followers
To carry God’s justice and righteousness …
God’s mercy and love …
To the ends of the earth.
Until it has reached the end of the earth at you …
Right where you are.
For the courage of your faith
For the inspiration in your creativity for sharing that faith
Especially in the challenging times of pandemic
The power and authority of Christ Jesus
Continues to pulse through space and time.
Carry on, deputies. Carry on!