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Feb 4- Elijah and Elisha

Elisha’s Request

This week’s session centers on the shift from the prophet Elijah’s ministry to his successor, Elisha. Unlike the transition between Moses and Joshua which was more public, this one was more private. As Elijah prepared to depart, he asked Elisha what he could do for him. Elisha’s response is a bit cryptic:

So Elisha answered, “Please, let me inherit two shares of your spirit.” (2 Kings 2:9 CSB)

We do not know what Elisha meant exactly by that phrase of “two shares.” Some believe that he was asking for twice the capabilities—the power—to perform miracles as Elijah had when he worked his miracles. Others believe that was a way of asking to be made the leader of the prophets, akin to the oldest son receiving a double portion of the family inheritance.

Either way, what is clear is that Elisha was asking for power. But not power that came out of an outlet, of course. He was seeking the power of God. We have to recognize Elisha’s wisdom in this moment. He understood that the mission he was about to begin would not be accomplished by his capabilities, but rather God’s abilities—God’s power.

Our Need

We are no different from Elisha. We too have been given a mission by God. Although the particulars of our mission are not the same as Elisha’s—and even the particulars of your mission and my mission are not the same—the purpose of all of our missions is the same: to glorify God and make Him known among the nations. And just like Elisha, we need to recognize that we lack the power to complete this mission. That’s not a bad thing; it’s not a failure on our part. It is the way it is supposed to be. Just as the mission is not about us, neither is the power to fulfill it. It is about God and His glory from start to finish. We point others to God in the power of God provided to us through Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Our problem is that we can tend to forget this. We can shift down into cruise control. And we might be able to fake it for a while. But sooner or later, our folly will be exposed. Just like a phone will die if it is not charged, so too will our efforts to make much of Christ die detached from the Holy Spirit. Until God jars us back to reality and we “plug back in” to our power source.

As you prepare to teach this session, don’t make this mistake: don’t attempt to do so in your own power. Be desperate for the Holy Spirit to work in and through you. Like Elisha, call out to God for two shares of His spirit, and then pour into the kids you teach through His power.

Preschool Tip: One of the challenges of this session is the similar name of Elijah and Elisha. It is hard for adults, but perhaps even more so for little ones who might miss the slight nuance of those pronunciations. Consider using visuals as you share the story with your preschoolers—one of Elisha and another of Elisha. Refer to each of them as they are referenced in the story and when you talk about them.

Kids Tip: What Elisha meant by "two shares of Elijah’s spirit" is challenging, but don’t feel the need to shy away from it. Tell your kids that what Elisha meant exactly is not clear—and perhaps share the options—but then be clear that what we do know he meant was that he was asking for God’s power. This is a great teaching opportunity for your kids to see that we won’t understand everything in Scripture, and that’s OK. But what we do know—what is clear—is what matters.

-From Brian Dembowczyk at TGP website

#JesusJams for today!

CLICK HERE for this weeks story summary

Christ Connection: God gave Elisha the same spirit that was in Elijah so that Elisha could carry out his mission as a prophet. Years later, Jesus told His followers to wait for the Holy Spirit. God gives believers the Holy Spirit so they can share the gospel with the world.
If you have a bible at your house, turn to 2 Kings chapter 2. If you don't have one, that's okay! CLICK HERE.

Option 1- Paint Fire With Yarn Squirt red, orange, and yellow washable paint into individual bowls filled with shaving cream. Use a craft stick to stir together the paint and shaving cream.

Cut yarn into different lengths, no more than one-foot long. Drop a couple pieces of yarn into each bowl of paint/shaving cream. Use a craft stick to submerge the yarn while leaving a dry end hanging out of the bowl. Each child gets a sheet of heavyweight paper. Demonstrate how to pull the yarn out of the paint and lay it on the paper. Then return it to the bowl leaving the dry end hanging out. Encourage kids to layer different colors to create “fire.” Suggest they try dragging the yarn on their paper to see what happens.

Remind Kids • Great job painting fire! A chariot of fire with horses of fire came down between Elijah and Elisha. Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah was gone, but Elisha stayed on earth. God chose Elisha to be His prophet after Elijah. God gave Elisha the same spirit that had been at work in Elijah. Today, all who trust in Jesus to rescue them from sin have the Spirit of God in them too. The Holy Spirit helps us share the good news of Jesus with the world.

OPTION 2: Chariot race Set up four traffic cones to mark corners of a large square. Use tape to mark a starting line perpendicular to one side of the square. Form groups of three kids. Instruct each group to select one kid to be the “driver” and two kids to be “horses.” Each group’s driver will stand behind the two horses. The driver will place his left hand on the left horse’s right shoulder, and his right hand on the right horse’s left shoulder. Groups will take turns racing around the cones; the two kids in front should gallop, and the kid in back will run to stay caught up. You may use a stopwatch to see who can complete three laps with the fastest time. Remind kids • What a fun game! In Bible times, chariots were a popular way to get around, especially for those who were wealthy or powerful. Today we will hear about a time Elijah rode in the back of an incredible kind of chariot. Where might a special chariot carry someone? We’ll find out soon.


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