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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Crossing Over: I will not leave you

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 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. 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.”


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. 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; keep silent.”


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. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 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, and the two of them crossed on dry ground. ~ 2 Kings 2:1-8



In my sermon, I used the example from The Lord of the Rings of loyal Sam refusing to leave Frodo Baggins as he continued his dangerous journey to restore the (evil) ring of power.


Sam wouldn't leave Frodo because he had promised to look after him.


Elisha also promises to follow Elijah as he goes off to what most are certain is his end.


What do you think Elisha is thinking?


Is he sad? Is he frightened? Is he ready for what comes next?


The plan all along was for Elisha to take Elijah's place. (This is where we get the idiom, "take up the mantle" from).


And presumably Elisha has been preparing for it.


But does that make it any less daunting? I always wonder when the prophets keep hounding him that Elijah will be taken by God if Elisha is annoyed with them because he already knows and is ready, or because he already knows and doesn't want to be reminded because he's unsure.


Are we always ready for a big change in our lives even when we know it is coming? I remember at my approval interview for becoming an ELCA Associate in Ministry (now Deacon) that as much as I knew I had passed the test and been prepared, I had more than a little trepidation about beginning my call in earnest.


We don't always believe we are ready, even when logically we know we are.


Then especially we need to remind ourselves that God had the biggest hand in preparing us and we can trust that.


  • When is a time in your life you began something new that even though you were prepared you still felt nervous about?

  • Why do you think you felt that way?

  • What positive reinforcement did you get as you moved into your new role?



Lord, stay by my side when I am nervous or frightened about my new responsibilities. Amen



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