As Elijah was coming toward the end of his career, the Lord let him know it was time to anoint a successor. How does Elijah let Elisha know he is to follow, and then succeed him? He throws his cloak over Elisha. A cloak, or mantle, was the exterior garment, protection from the cold nights, to keep one warm. In the case of Elijah, it was also part of his identity, or trademark perhaps. Elisha responds by making a total break with his past, slaughtering the oxen that he used for plowing, setting a feast for the people, and then following Elijah. It is a dramatic scene, a story of transitions. Elijah accepts that his mission will be carried on by others. Elisha hears and responds to a call. Taking him on as his attendant, Elijah will be mentoring, while Elisha will become a disciple. In the end, Elijha will need to let go, Elisha will need to say goodbye, and ‘pick up the mantle’ Each of these are not just interesting elements in the story, they are important features in each of our lives. Are you at the ‘ready to be called’ stage? Or have you been working in the vineyard, as it were, for a long time? Is it time to look for a successor, throw the mantle on them, and let go as they grow into a new role? Prayer helps us answer those questions

Sunday, June 26, 2016