Commemoration of Elisha
June 14, 2012
The Lord be with you
Today is the Commemoration of the Old Testament prophet, Elisha. Elisha was one of the “non-writing” prophets of the Old Testament. This doesn’t mean that he couldn’t write, just that he didn’t write a book of the Old Testament.
Elisha was the Son of Shaphat of the tribe of Issachar, and was the prophet of God to the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th century bc. The kings during this time were: Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Jehoash. Upon seeing his mentor, Elijah, taken up into heaven, Elisha assumed the prophetic office and took up the mantle of his predecessor. Like Elijah, Elisha tirelessly called the people back to Yahweh, was an outspoken opponent of Baal worship, played an active role in political affairs, and performed many miracles (such as curing the Syrian Army commander Naaman of his leprosy (2 Kings 5) and restoring the life to the son of a Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37)). He certainly lived up to his name, which means “my God is salvation.”
Two prayers inspired by the life and ministry of the prophet Elijah.
Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Elijah, You continued the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles your presence in creation to heal it is its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Christ, the final end-times prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church, through the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O God, protector and redeemer of the human family, whose wonders have been proclaimed through the wonders accomplished by your chosen prophets, you have bestowed the spirit of Elijah on your prophet Elisha: in your kindness grant us too an increase in the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that, living as prophets, we will bear constant witness to your abiding presence and providence, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert