By Kwasi Kena
Theme: “Godly Companionship”
Message: Few would argue that people are, by nature, social creatures. We learn how to function in society through interaction with others. We observe, we act, we receive feedback, we adjust. We learn values from our families, our peers, and by those we consider significant—a spouse, a dear friend, a close companion. We understand this type of socialization; but who socializes us spiritually?
In the lives of Elijah and Elisha we find a clear demonstration of the godly companionship. Theirs is a spiritual mentor-mentee relationship. The relationship between a mentor and mentee can provide new insights into how to follow God. How many of us benefitted from the mature perspective of a coach, an instructor, or an older peer?
Imagine the mature perspective Elisha developed after listening to the stories Elijah told. Elijah, whose name means Yahweh is my God, undoubtedly told Elisha about his confrontation with the wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, his showdown with the 450 prophets of Baal, and how he spoke and a three-year drought ensued. Elijah, aware that his time on earth was winding down, chose to spend his final moments with his beloved mentee, Elisha.
Elisha, also aware that this was Elijah’s last day on earth, clung to his mentor and never left his side. For his persistence, Elijah offered his mentee one last favor, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you” (2 Kings 2:9 NRSV). Elisha asks for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
The request to receive a double portion is significant. According to inheritance practices, the eldest son in Hebrew culture received a double portion. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s anointing because he believed that being Elijah’s first son in ministry entitled him to receive this spiritual inheritance. Who is looking for mature Christian fellowship and spiritual guidance from you and me? Who could benefit from hearing about our spiritual journey?
The news media fills the air with horror stories of young and old people gone astray. How many of their lives would have turned out differently with the guidance and encouragement of a modern-day Elijah? Sometimes people just need to hear good news. One aspect of evangelism is good news—that is sharing what it means to live in the Kingdom (Reign) of God. Sometimes our best teaching occurs through demonstration within the intimate space of friendships. We who have been privileged to enjoy a relationship with Jesus Christ have a grand opportunity to wrap our arms around some Elisha, spend time and talk about how God walks with us each step of life’s journey.
Similarly, there is an Elisha who needs to stop walking along a solitary spiritual path and seek the company and seasoned advice of an Elijah who has “some stories to tell.” This week urge your congregation to seize the opportunity either to serve as a mentor or to become a willing mentee in spiritual matters.
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and
a push in the right direction.” – John Crosby
“One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing
things for other people.” – Dick Gregory
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life
by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Film s with mentor themes:
- The Karate Kid
- Star Wars
- Finding Forrester
- The Lion King
- Searching for Bobby Fischer
- The Summons
- I Have Decided to Follow Jesus
- Would I have Answered When You Called
Prayer of Confession
Gracious God, how often have I buried myself in busyness rather than open myself to others? When you called me to spend time with another traveler on life’s journey, did I heed your request? I confess that too often I respond too quickly to a life of ease first when the couch and TV call. I forget that I am a steward of time and not the owner. Forgive me for the times I ignored the cry of Elisha. Remind me that I too have important stories to tell and good character to demonstrate. Amen.
Words of Assurance
God hears. God forgives. God’s grace grants another chance. In the name of Jesus Christ you are forgiven.
The same God, who spoke to Elijah, speaks to us beckoning us to find Elisha. Go from this place inspired to invest in another person’s life for the sake of the Kingdom (Reign) of God. We have a mission. We are called to serve.