Maundy-Thursday Reflection…

1 Kings 19:19-21 – Elijah has found the man to whom he will “pass the baton,” Elisha. When Elijah passed by him, Elisha was in the middle of plowing his fields with his team of oxen.

When called, chosen, identified, Elisha dropped what he was doing.

Elisha did not say, “Hold up. Can you give me a few? I’ve gotta finish this thing on my to-do list and then I’ll catch back up with you later. Sound good?”

20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah…

Match

What happens next may make us wonder if Elisha was really that committed because he asks Elijah if he can go back and say “goodbye” to his family before following him.

(See, he’s having second thoughts…he doesn’t really want to drop everything & go…)

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

No second thoughts. No hesitation. No reconsideration.

This is true dedication, commitment, obedience.

Once he was invited into a new life…

a life with ultimate purpose…

the greatest life he could ever live…

a life dedicated to the Spirit & mission of God…

a life of hope, grace, and mercy…

Elisha did not just leave his old life behind.

He burned his old life to the ground as a sacrifice.IMG_9946

This was an ultimate act of obedience and dedication. Elisha didn’t save up for a “contingency plan” in case he wanted to back to his old life. There was no going back. Elisha made sure of that!

God invited Elisha to participate with Him in building the incredible future God had planned. Elisha’s response was sliding all his chips to the middle of the table and saying,

“I’m all in!”

In a similar way, God is inviting each of us to participate with Him in building an incredible future…a future with hope, peace, joy, grace, mercy…

How are we going to respond?

Either in a journal/notebook or on the attached printout (here), write out your answers to the following questions…

  1. Do you believe that God has a great purpose and plan for you in helping build His great future?

  2. What is holding you back from going “all in” with God & His purpose in & through you?

  3. What action steps to you need to take about that?

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Whatever May Come – Jeremy & Adie Camp

(Click here for the YouTube Link)

The first 2 days, we listened to one song (Boundless – Phil Wickham) I have been incessantly listening to since Sunday. Now, again for the 2nd day, this is another song that has captivated me since Palm Sunday morning. This song and Boundless are about the only 2 songs I’ve been listening to this week.

Again, when it comes to worship (& life), oftentimes the more we repeat something, the more it sinks in and becomes a part of WHO we are & HOW we think, act, and exist.

In your quiet place, listen to this song a couple times in a row letting the words sink in.

Add the answers to these questions to your journal/notebook or the printout…

  1. What stirred in your heart, mind, soul while you listened?

  2. What is your Loving Father, His Son – your Redeemer, and His Spirit – your Source of Life, tryingto help you SEE & KNOW as you listen?

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When I left teaching to go to seminary, I had many people advising me to make sure I did not let my teaching certificate expire, “just in case.” Well, I did. It expired. I cannot simply turn back when this gets hard and go to something that had become second nature to me (& something at which I was really good).

Since resigning from teaching, have I ever considered going back? Absolutely!

This has been a challenging journey.

IMG_9948

I am constantly reminded that “the journey is too great for you” (1 Kings 19:7).

Maybe Elisha NEEDED to burn his past to the ground because he knew that at some point, out of his own weakness, he may act on his desire to turn back because “the journey is too great for you.”

He had to completely get rid of that old comfort zone so he was not tempted to surrender and return to what seemed easier.

I am never afraid to be candid & authentic, so I will say that I have thought MANY TIMES in these last 8 years of simply “going back” because of the comfort, stability, routine, clearer boundaries and job description, eased burden on my family.

To be honest, I’m glad that I (symbolically) burned my teaching certificate to the ground as an offering. I know my own weakness and I also know that this is the purpose for which God has called, chosen, and identified me and my family.

It’s not easy, but it is good!

  1. What are you being invited to burn to the ground as an offering that will free you to enter into the purpose God has for you?

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Zoom with us Thursday night for our Maundy-Thursday Communion service.

(e-mail me for the link & password)

Also, Zoom with us on Easter Sunday morning @ 10:00 am

(Link – Meeting ID: 986 513 4834 – Password: 975286)

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