June 03, 2013

Picking up the Cloak

2 Kings 2:1-15

The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.”
—2 Kings 2:15


Years had passed since the time God chose Elisha to succeed Elijah as his prophet (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21). Now, after training Elisha, Elijah was going home to God. It was time to see if Elisha was ready to serve in his place. What might look like a good-bye tour of their favorite hangouts was really a test. First Elisha’s loyalty was tested, and three times he said he would not leave. Next Elisha’s wisdom was tested, and with true insight Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit—the inheritance traditionally given to an eldest son.

Suddenly two things happened at once: a chariot and horses of fire came between them. And Elijah was sucked up into a mini-tornado and was gone! Because he saw Elijah taken away, Elisha received what he had asked for.

Then, in front of everyone on the other side of the Jordan River, Elisha was able to repeat Elijah’s last miracle. With the cloak that had fallen from Elijah, Elisha parted the waters and walked across on dry ground. Everyone watching could see that Elisha had been chosen to be God’s new prophet in Israel.

Each of us has been called and also equipped to be a prophet, right where we are and alongside the people we live with. Equipped with God’s Spirit and his power, we are to pick up our cloaks and get to work.

Lord God, take us as we are, summon out who we shall be, set your seal on our hearts, and live in us so that we can truly be your prophets. Prepare us, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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