Sharing the Spirit
Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan." But he (Elisha) said, "As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
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." 2 Kings 2: 6-9 (NRSV)
Patricia Marks lives in Georgia. Recently, she received an email regarding a friend who was struggling with serious issues after surgery. "Please join us in prayer tomorrow at 9:10 AM," the message said. Usually Patricia would rather pray with someone face-to-face than online, but that day was different. Friends from all over responded to the call. They emailed, they tweeted, they posted the invitation on Facebook. Like all the others, Patricia set a reminder to be in prayer at 9:10.
Patricia thought of Elisha, who followed Elijah from Bethel to Jericho to Jordan. Time and time again, people said to him, "Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master away from you?" And Elisha answered, "Yes, I know; be silent." True friends, no matter how far away they live, never leave us. They are there in joy and sorrow, in life and death.
When the time arrived, they gathered online to pray for their friend. Like Elisha, who begged for a double share of Elijah's spirit, they prayed that God would bless their friend with Christ's spirit of eternal life. May all of us have the strength and courage always to be present, heart and soul, with those we love.
Prayer: Dear God, grant us the guidance of your spirit to remain faithful to family and friends, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in Jesus' name, amen.