Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Denha- Baptism of Our Lord-Epiphany
2 Kings 2:13-22
v13 "Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.”
The symbolism behind baptism is the rebirth and purification of the spirit. In today’s passage we read about the passing of Elijah and the start of Elisha’s journey. Elisha was chosen as Elijah’s successor and through their journey Elisha was able to witness the power of God. Throughout their ministry Elisha was renewed and purified through the teachings of Elijah. When it was time for Elijah to ascend to heaven, Elisha was now in the position to take up the responsibility. In the passage we read that Elisha took up the mantle of Elijah, not only physically but spiritually as well. What we should understand that it is not the mantle that gives Elisha power but God himself. Elisha knows that it is the God Elijah who made the ministry possible and if he himself must continue the mission God must be present.
The mantle is a symbol for taking up the responsibility of God’s work and passing of wisdom. In order to accept this responsibility we must be able to renew and purify our spirit so we may be able to keep our hearts and minds open to God to accept his word and spread it to others. Picking up the mantle is not an easy thing to do. At times we may feel like Elisha, where we stand and the Jordan and wonder what is next in our journey. Sometimes we feel the weight of the mantle and it seems more like a burden. It is in these moments that Jesus calls to us and says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus calls to us to take our burden and help us find rest. He came from above to set us free from what burdens us. He is here to set us free from the burden of our sin and carry his message and love to other people. In Matthew 11:29 it reads “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” We are given the responsibility by Christ to carry out his commandments and help deliver those who are oppressed, the responsibility is not a burden but a gift, for in 1 John 5:3 it says “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” We have been baptized in Christ and given the responsibility to spread his word to others. In this new year let us meditate on God’s voice in our lives and accept the mantle we have been given.
Lord help us realize that we don’t walk this path alone but you are carrying us and holding us. Lead on this journey of healing and wholeness so we may become closer to you. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Our spiritual journey starts with the opening our hearts.
Bently Joseph, St. John’s MTC, New York
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church