“For all the saints, who from their labors rest…”
All of us are indebted to those who have gone before us. We know much of what we know because they passed it down to us. We are able to do what we do because someone showed us skills and abilities that they had and took the time to cultivate them in us
In our lives, these people become precious to us. In some symbolic ways, we carry a piece of them with us even long after they are gone. Their fingerprints are all over us. This is how God uses people to mold and shape us into who we are and what are to be.
As we continue our preaching journey through the Old Testament, this week’s lesson comes from 1 Kings 19:1-18. The prophet Elijah is afraid. He has taken on the powers and principalities of his time and there are a lot more of them than there is of him! While Elijah is hiding, God comes to him and speaks to him. God brings words of challenge and encouragement to stay true to who he is and what his purpose is.
But inside of those words also come another word. Elijah is told that he will soon choose Elisha to be his successor. Elijah’s work, as important as it is, will not be finished with Elijah. He must pass the mantle on to another and raise up a new generation of leaders to follow him. Even when things are hard, God is calling to him to plan ahead and pay attention to others so they can find their meaning and purpose as well.
This week, take a few minutes to reflect on the people who have shaped you. Give thanks for their fingerprints – even the rough ones have contributed to your current self. Then think about your life. Who have you influenced and who are you shaping. Take a moment, offer up a prayer for them and drop them a quick note to let them know you are thinking and praying for them. What we have received in Christ we pass on. It is what makes us saints.