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Monday, February 05, 2018

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The reading from 2 Kings assigned for the coming final Sunday of the Season of Epiphany--also called The Transfiguration of our Lord--tells the story of Elisha succeeding Elijah as a prophet among the prophets and the people of Israel. Some fascinating themes run through the narrative: images of light in the darkness, fire as showing the presence of the living and loving God, reflection on the ministry of the prophet Elijah and the importance of history and communities of faith.

As you read this narrative, you might think about: the importance of the communities of the prophets for the people Israel;  the commitment of Elisha to stay with Elijah; the parting of the waters of the Jordan with Elijah and Elisha crossing on dry ground; the travel itinerary that closely follows, in reverse order, the routes and cities on and through which the descendants of Abraham were led by Joshua on the way to the Land of the Promise.  Let the Holy Spirit bring new insights to you as you read this scripture passage today.

Living and loving God, show us how our faith and life are rooted in your past purposes and promises. Assure us that you go with us into all that is to come. Amen.

Jim Thvedt '59
Retired/Interim Pastor, Brookings, S.D.

2 Kings 2:1-12 (NRSV)

1 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
2 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.
3 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."
4 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.
5 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."
6 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.
7 Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan.
8 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.
9 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."
10 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."
11 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.
12 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.


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.