What Next?

February 13, 2012 § 3 Comments

As we approach Transfiguration Sunday, we realize that the story of Jesus’ journey to the cross is also our story of discipleship.  The unexpected, surprising journey of a rejected and persecuted Messiah on His way to death begs the question on what is next for His disciples who are called to also carry their cross.  The “what next” question was already Elisha’s question in 2 Kings 2:1-12 when he realized that Elijah’s departure to heaven will have consequences for him.  This is a story of succession from Elijah to Elisha.  Elijah’s journey continues in the life of Elisha.  The issue of succession first appears in 1 Kings 19:16.  However, for much of the chapters following, Elijah appears alone with no reference to Elisha until the departure scene in today’s reading where we find the last dialogue between Elijah and Elisha in verses 9-12.  That is where Elisha ask Elijah for a double portion of his spirit (2:9).  And when Elijah departs, Elisha picks up Elijah’s cloak – the cloak of succession – and continues the journey with the question “where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” (2:13-14).  This coming season of Lent will yet again challenge you and me on how to live a faithful life of succession in and through the power of the Spirit of Jesus, continuously asking the question where God is already present and active so that we can participate in His presence and work.

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