Monday, February 16, 2015

Elijah is taken into heaven

2.16.2015 Monday                                           2 Kings 2:1-12 Elijah ascends into heaven

Elijah is taken into heaven

On the mountain of Transfiguration, three disciples on the mount see the glory of God when Jesus is transfigured before them. As Elisha watches in our reading for today, he sees the glorious departure of Elijah on a chariot of fire and with horses of fire.

Elijah was trying to leave for heaven apart from Elisha to save him a sad farewell. It was a leave for Elijah, for here on earth we have no abiding place. Life is only a sojourn, a short pilgrimage. Earth is not our permanent home. Elisha was determined not to leave Elijah. Three times, he swore he would not let Elijah out of his sight. Here we see the extent of Elisha’s love and devotion to his spiritual father. His persistent loyalty was rewarded by witnessing Elijah’s dramatic departure. 

The final destination of God’s people is heaven. For some, it is a place. For others it is a state of being.

The only sure thing we know about heaven is that we are with God. And to be with God is to share in His life, light and glory. Heaven is where the soul lives eternally. This is confirmed by Elijah’s appearance at the Transfiguration.

Our life lived here on earth is only temporary. Our real home, our true destiny is heaven. To live and dwell with Christ eternally. The fact that Elijah appeared on the Mountain of Transfiguration is convincing proof that man lives beyond the grave. On the last day, soul and body will be reunited, and there, with Christ, and the faithful, we will live and dwell with Him eternally. How do people come to a knowledge of this wonderful truth? People come to an understanding of the gospel when the message of Christ and Him crucified is proclaimed, shared, and lived. The season of Lent is an excellent opportunity for us to study God’s Word, to grow in understanding and to share with others the hope that we have in Christ. Through this Lenten journey, we go it not alone. You travel with others; your brothers and sisters in Christ. We share His story along the way.  

Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  

[1] Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[1] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B John Brokhoff pp. 89-90 © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH

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