Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-12
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’ –2 Kings:1-3
One of the characteristics often found among the people of God is tenacity. In the scripture above, I only quoted one segment of Elisha’s persistent pursuit of his mentor Elijah. After Bethel Elisha follows Elijah to Jerico, and after Jerico to the Jordan. Tenacious love is the bedrock of God’s people. Having the faith that love is the ultimate factor in living the abundant life God has planned for all his children. Our greatest challenge is living that love no matter what. We are called to love our way through greed, lust for power, and bigotry among many other forces of evil that threaten us. We are called to advocate for all to survive and thrive while those same forces are storming down on them. Loving and wanting the best for perpetrators of evil are perhaps the hardest parts of our work.
Jesus loved his enemies. I envision him looking down on Jerusalem saying:
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)
While driving, I listened on the radio recently to interviews with retail workers saying they might work ten hours a week or 30. They never knew from week to week. They never worked a 40 hour week and in the down weeks paid part of their rent using a credit card on which they routinely were only able to make the minimum payment. I then heard someone interviewed saying that our economy was great because the stock market was higher than it had ever been. What a disconnect, our world is out of synch. God’s love is the only thread that can weave us together to become one in a world that affords all God’s abundant life. We are the conduits of God’s love in the world today.
Prayer: Lord, strengthen us to be tenacious in sharing your love throughout all aspects of our lives. Amen.