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2 Kings 2:1-12, Elijah Ascends to Heaven

Monday, November 6

Passing the Torch

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

As a parent of teens and young adults, I have often found that the most challenging thing about parenting these days is handing on to my kids the power and responsibility to live their own lives. It's weird -- for 20 years I was involved with what they were doing, how they were doing it, where they were going, who they would hang around with, and generally every aspect of their lives. As the years went by, my involvement lessened as they took over the aspect of their lives little by little. It's not that I'm not involved in their lives -- it's more like I'm involved but not in control. And that's a really good, healthy thing. Letting go of control and letting them make their own decisions (and their own mistakes) has been difficult and rewarding. It's heartbreaking to watch my kids make decisions that hurt them or others. But it's also heartwarming to watch them blossom into compassionate, thoughtful, nurturing, and productive human beings. Sometimes passing the torch is tough. But it's also the way things are meant to be. What can you let go control of so that you might watch it blossom on its own?

Narrative Lectionary Text: 2 Kings 2:1-12

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 Lordwill 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.