2 Kings 2:1-12 (NRSV)
Chapter 2Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Verse 2Elijah 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. Verse 3The 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." Verse 4Elijah 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. Verse 5The 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." Verse 6Then 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. Verse 7Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Verse 8Then 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.
Verse 9When 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." Verse 10He 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." Verse 11As 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. Verse 12Elisha 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.
“The Times, They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan was a popular song during the 1960’s and even early 70’s. Change is something many of us have a hard time embracing. This is especially true when we experience change as some sort of loss. We have all been dealing with lots of changes these past months due to COVID-19.
Elisha knew things were changing, that Elijah was going to be leaving him. What Elisha did not know is if he would be Elijah’s successor. If not, then what? In the midst of this change what did God have in store for him? What was God calling him to do?
We might have some of the same questions as we face changes in our world. God’s love for creation is steadfast, yet the complexity of creation has always brought constant change to the world and our lives. Our calling as people of God is to trust God’s presence and to minister in and through all the changes.
Gracious God, help us to trust that you are present even during times of change and to be open to new opportunities and forms of ministry whenever they arise. Amen.