2 Kings 2:9-15a
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 theLord, 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 atJericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.”
Last night I went to the earlier Holiday Concert at the High School. The room was packed and people were excited to hear the choirs and the bands. I had been running around all day…from home working to the office to working at our fair trade booth at the holiday market to working out to coming back home to work on bulletins and my calendar because this week is going to be hectic. Then I walked over to the high school and sat down without even thinking what would happen but just proud that I got myself there. I looked at the program and realized, “oh hey, all sorts of holiday music.” As I later listened to some of the holiday favorites, I wanted to say “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” I know that Elisha is talking about many more important things than Christmas Spirit. Elisha is talking about prophecy and the power of speech and the world being rocked by God. But this morning this is the phrase that stood out to me. Here I am, in the busyness of the week and for a moment today I thought, “let’s just get through the holidays.” And here is this lovely choir singing of sleigh rides and the magic of Christmas…
When did I lose that? Are we so busy trying to get through Christmas that we have forgotten about little touches that make the season special? So today my prayer is to please let me inherit a double share of spirit….the spirit of the season if you will. A friend of mine recently went to Portland and as he was leaving the store he saw a guy in a Jeep accidentally back up into my friend’s car. It was pretty clear it just touched the bumper and maybe made a little scratch. He watched this man park, look around to see if the owner of the vehicle was there and then cautiously start to get out and walk away. This is when my friend went to his car…not really worried about the bumper on his older truck. No big deal, they are only cars. The other man then came over and started to apologize with the air of “I could defend myself if need be.” My friend told the man not to worry…its just stuff and it happens and no big deal. He also added at the end, “Merry Christmas.” The guy in the Jeep was blown away. He didn’t know what to do or say. He was bewildered. My friend was being nice and even wished him Merry Christmas. The only thing the man in the Jeep could say was, “yeah, you too! merry christmas.” Sometimes we have lost sight completely of the season that we get so worked up over little things. How sad is it that we are expected to fly off the handle for an honest mistake instead of realizing we are all human and making the connection?
What does it mean to have spirit in our world? What would it mean for you this year to pause and get a little of the magic back? For me I know its recognizing people around me and dwelling with them a bit instead of rushing off to the next gig. For me I know its enjoying some of what is around me…noticing the lights, the music, and even watching the youtube clip I have attached to help us out. Charlie Brown always helps me out at this point in the season to remember what Christmas is all about. Enjoy….
Prayer: O God, please let me inherit a double share of your spirit so that people may recognize your spirit has rested upon me. Open my eyes to the details of the season. Open my heart to receive people in different ways to recognize you. Amen.