A Double Share

Elijah Cloak over Elisha Westminster SynagogueElisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”  2 Kings 2:9

This past Sunday, we talked about all that has been happening in the news. The Voting Rights act was challenged; the Defense of Marriage act was struck down; NSA monitoring was revealed; a Senate race was held; President Obama spoke on the environment… I could go on. A lot has been happening; history is being made all around us.

When we think about how change happens in our country, we often think in terms of great leaders: Martin Luther King, Jr.; Gloria Steinem; Alice Walker; Rachel Carson; Harvey Milk; Edward Roberts. The dedication and selflessness of these leaders has changed our country forever. But great leaders can’t accomplish everything. Despite new laws and shifts in public opinion, pervasive bias still exists.  And some issues have barely begun to be addressed by our society. How will it all get done?

In the book of Kings, the great prophet Elijah is nearing death. His protege, Elisha, hopes to carry on the work that Elijah began. Elisha begs Elijah: “Please, let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” But Elijah can’t promise this. Soon he is gone, taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. As it turns out, Elisha is never quite as great a prophet as Elijah. Most of us are unlikely to become great leaders, either. Still, it’s important that we find the courage to move forward with the tasks that others have begun.  Whose work could you continue?

God, we come to you in celebration and consternation, witnessing all that leaders and movements have achieved, witnessing all that still needs to be done. Empower us to further the cause of your justice. Embolden us to speak and serve. Amen.