Elijah one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament is swept up into heaven in whirlwind. Elisha his heir apparent clings to him until the very last.
Prior to this as they walk together other prophets keep coming out and seem to pull Elisha a side and mention, “Do you know, today is the day the Lord will take your master from you?” Elisha is all, “yes I do, now hush.”
I think I know what he is feeling here. He knows what is going on, and maybe he is in denial, or maybe he just wants to revel in the last remaining moments with Elijah, whatever the case, I get a sense of irritation as people keep reminding him.
I think I know how he must feel. When you know things are going to change, it can be quite unnerving. What was solid and sure, is now, or will be soon enough different. The core of this feeling is fear. I think in part that is why Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, and why he rips his clothes in grief when Elijah is swept up.
But this story is part of a much larger one. In our reading today God came to Elijah in the midst of his fear, and showed him who would continue his work, and that God was still in charge.
Today as we in the United States vote, there has been much fear whipped up in the campaigning.
This irritates me… just saying.
Because here is the message of scripture, no matter who gets elected, God is still God. Was life easy for Elisha after Elijah was gone, no, but it wasn’t before and it certainly wasn’t for Elijah, he was blessed to make it as far as he did! Elijah was a great prophet and things didn’t always go his way. But God was at work and continues to be at work in lives and our stories too.
God has work for us no matter who gets elected. God does not call you to tend rose gardens, only your neighbor and those who are in need of the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Often this calling of ours as Christians is a calling to a place that has a combination of thorns and wildflowers, but though it all our trust is in the master gardener, who causes to grow, and will be there for you and for others no matter who wins the election.