You've successfully subscribed to With Christ on the Mountain Top
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to With Christ on the Mountain Top
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.

Double Portion: The Elijah Cycle (5) 2016-0626

. 4 min read

2016/06/26 Christ Church,
Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 77
Children, 1
Kings 19.19-21
Message, 2 Kings 2.1-15
1999, ordained elder
      Retirement
service, passing of the “mantle”
      Stole,
“Yoked to Christ, now and for eternity”
      Rev.
Merle Saxman, wife Ruth, buried in 1997 (Merle) and 1996
            Had
been pastor of that congregation
            “Stacked
children like cord wood”
            Marbles
on the sanctuary floor
            Laid
brick
            Drove
school bus
            Conflict:
“What we need here is a just a few good funerals”
            “They
just don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
            Our
visits, pray for each other
      Merle,
if I can have a double portion of your spirit …
Ordination themes in the passage
The special call of ordination is
tied to the general call of all disciples expressed in baptism – passing
through the Jordan
      Prophetic
succession, apostolic succession
            Elijah’s
mantle
            “The
Spirit of Elijah is upon Elisha”
      UMC
“bishops” – Asbury, Wesley
            Canterbury:
Thomas Cranmer, Anselm
            Irenaeus
of Lyon
            Onesimus
and Timothy of Ephesus
      The
role of the community (“sons of the prophets”)
      The
source of pastoral authority (including succession)
      Not
in being a unique human being
            Elijah
just like us (James 5)
            Elisha
invisible in the 2 Elijah stories between these portions
      In
the power and presence of the Spirit
            Spirit often mediated through persons
            Got
close enough to receive the gift of the Spirit
            Likewise
close enough to see the full humanity (serve)

Under whose yoke will we labor?
      The
yoke of Christ?
Matthew 11:29-30  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for
I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30 For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light.”
      The
yoke of our past lives?
            Elisha
butchers the oxen and burns the yoke
            God’s
call is to a radical departure
      A
yoke of service, as Elisha’s? (never glamorous)
            Child
with special needs
            Youth
or adults with legal issues
            Immigrants
struggling to learn the language
            Elder
losing control of their body or mind
                  An
opportunity to deny ourselves and receive the Spirit
Teresa of Avila, “On the Way to Heaven”
In The Collected Works, vol 3, translated by Kavanaugh & Rodriguez,
p 387
      Elijah,
our Father, leads,
      In
our self-denying we follow him
      Strongly
and zealously,
      Nuns of Carmel.
      Renouncing
our will,
      We
long to attain
      Elijah’s
double spirit,
      Nuns of Carmel.
Under whose yoke? Whom do we
serve?
“Living like Weasels” by Annie Dillard
In Teaching a Stone to Talk
      Story
of naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton
            Eagle shot, found dried weasel skull
attached at the neck
Will we endure to the end?
      Three
times, Elijah tells Elisha to stay behind.
      Twice,
the “sons of the prophets” tell him that Elijah is leaving.
      Mark
13:13
 But the one who endures to the
end will be saved.
Luke 9:62  “No one who puts a hand to the plow and
looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
There are pleasures to our
calling
      Deep
connections with people
      Solitude
for study and prayer
      Partnerships
with leaders who care and serve with me
      Opportunities
for play
And there is pain
      Misdirected
anger and grief (credit too, of course)
      Turf
trumping mission
      Miscarriage
on the ordination day
There is going to be pain anyway
– embrace it, latch on
“Apostolic succession is the succession of the passion of Christ” (Moltmann, The Church in the Power of the Spirit, 361).
      Apostolic
– sent forth on mission
      Message
of the cross
      Mission
is always disputed
      “Apostolate
in suffering”
Will we endure to the end?
“Holding on for dearer life”
(Dillard, 69)

“The thing is to stalk your
calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live
spot and plug into that pulse…. I think it would be well, and proper, and
obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle
from it limp wherever it takes you” (70)