Ordinary Time, Proper 8, Year C, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
This week we skip further ahead to the end of Elijah’s ministry. Elisha is a disciple of Elijah who has been following and learning from the prophet. In today’s passage we follow Elisha and Elijah as Elijah reluctantly passes the torch to Elisha and goes to Heaven in a whirlwind. Why Elijah is reluctant, we do not know. Is it too great a burden to pass? Does Elijah feel he still has more work to do? The text doesn’t say. However, like Ruth following her mother Naomi, Elisha refuses to leave Elijah’s side. When asked what Elisha would like to inherit (like a son) Elisha asks only for a “double share” of Elijah’s “spirit.” This seems to be what calms Elijah before he is carried away with chariots, fire, and a whirlwind.