The story of Elijah and Elisha illuminates the intergenerational nature of our work and faith. The Spirit moves through us from generation to generation. Mentorship is offered. Leadership transitions.

We too are part of such stories in our own time and place. My heart is stirred up remembering the ancestors who now live in picture frames and on the edges of my memory. It was in ordinary walks by their side where I was taught the gentle and powerful lessons of what it means to be human.

Elisha begs me to seek out the elders in my life before they cross the river or their chariots swing low. These are the days to ask for stories and histories, to offer thanks, to listen, to be formed and transformed, and to hold their hands and feel the Spirit move between us.

When Elijah has gone, Elisha picks up the mantle and continues the work. With holy gratitude, may we each pick up the mantle that lies before us, even if it is just for a short while. Let us run our fingers across each stitch. Breathe in the smells that still linger from the ones we loved. Notice the holes and recall the stories of the places it has been. Pull it over our shoulders feeling the weight of history. Find a needle and thread and mend the tears. Give it new stains and carry it on new paths until, one day, we take it off again and lovingly wrap it around someone younger and wiser.

O God, we give thanks for this cloak that reminds us of our belovedness, smallness, and belonging in the great cloud of witnesses. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 9:51-62

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Lectionary Week
June 20–26, 2022
Scripture Overview

This week’s readings open with the dramatic scene of Elijah’s departure. As the prophet is taken into heaven by fiery chariots, his cloak falls to his successor, Elisha—symbolic of the continuation of God’s prophetic work. The psalmist praises the Lord’s mighty works of the past and finds encouragement in them. Paul reminds us that freedom in Christ comes with responsibility. We cannot live to satisfy our fleshly desires. If we live in the power of the Spirit, then our manner of life should stand out and bear godly fruit. In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges his followers with the cost of discipleship. His statements here may seem extreme, but he is pointing out that we can be tempted to find excuses for not proclaiming the kingdom of God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14. When has fire—real or metaphorical—changed your life? How have you seen God working in this change?
Read Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20. Recall a time when you needed God’s help. Where did you look for God’s encouragement?
Read Galatians 5:1, 13-25. Along with our freedom, we are given a responsibility. How do you use your freedom to serve others?
Read Luke 9:51-62. When have you heard Jesus’ call to follow? What have you had to leave behind to follow the one who has “set his face to go to Jerusalem”?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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