Daily Devotion for July 13, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
For our restful sleep at night,For the rain and sunshine bright,
For the love that Thou dost send,
For our homes and for each friend
For the day and all its pleasures,
Grateful thanks we render now.
May our lives pass on the blessings,
None can give to us, but Thou.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed me with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
2 Kings 2:9-15
The Ascension of Elijah (Conclusion)
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." 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."
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. 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.
He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, "Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?" When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.
Notes on the Scripture
Luke, the only author who recorded Christ's ascension in any detail, pointed out several parallels to the ascension of Elijah. And there are a number of other similarities in their lives. In the first place, of course, is the simple fact that they are they two people in the Bible who ascended to heaven, both in the view of their closest followers. This isn't a trick of translation, as the phrasing and diction of the Greek is similar.
Both passages expect that the work of the ascender will be continued by those who witness the ascension. Luke is very intentional in bringing to our mind the ascension of Elijah, by the way he pictures and words the ascension of Jesus to that the disciples. This is not the end of either Elijah's or Christ's ministry, but rather the beginning of another chapter -- in Elijah's, actually, a chapter that will end with the coming of the Messiah.
Elisha's request for a "double portion" of Elijah's Spirit had a more sensible meaning at the time. A father's estate would be dividied equally among his heirs, except that the eldest son would receive double. So, in effect, Elisha is asking to be treated as the principal heir of Elijah's ministry.
This is why Elijah calls Elisha's request "a difficult thing". It is not difficult to accomplish; rather, it will be a burden to Elisha, because he is essentially offering to devote the entirety of his life to continuing Elijah's ministry, just as the disciples would live the rest of their lives spreading the Gospel of Christ.