Lord, you have taught us
that all our doings without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
2 Kings 2. 1, 2, 6-14
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.
Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, ‘Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
Psalm 77. [1, 2,] 11-20
I cry a/loud to / God :
I cry aloud to / God and / he will / hear me.
In the day of my trouble I have / sought the / Lord :
by night my hand is stretched out and does not tire;
my / soul re/fuses / comfort.
I will remember the / works of the / Lord :
and call to mind your / wonders of / old / time.
I will meditate on / all your / works :
and / ponder your / mighty / deeds.
Your way, O / God, is / holy :
who is so / great a / god as / our God?
You are the / God who worked / wonders :
and declared your / power a/mong the / peoples.
With a mighty arm you re/deemed your / people :
the / children of / Jacob and / Joseph.
The waters saw you, O God;
the waters saw you and / were a/fraid :
the / depths / also were / troubled.
The clouds poured out water; the / skies / thundered :
your arrows / flashed on / every / side;
The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings / lit up the / ground :
the / earth / trembled and / shook.
Your way was in the sea,
and your paths in the / great / waters :
but your / footsteps / were not / known.
You led your / people like / sheep :
by the / hand of / Moses and / Aaron.
Galatians 5.1, 13-25
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Luke 9. 51-62
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’
1 Kings 19. 15, 16, 19-21
Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.
So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was ploughing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him. He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Go back again; for what have I done to you?’ He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.
Preserve me, O God, for in you have I / taken / refuge :
I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my lord,
all my / good de/pends on / you.’
All my delight is upon the godly that are / in the / land :
upon / those • who are / noble in / heart.
Though the idols are legion that / many run / after :
their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
neither make mention of their / names up/on my / lips.
The Lord himself is my portion / and my / cup :
in your hands a/lone / is my / fortune.
My share has fallen in a / fair / land :
indeed, I / have a / goodly / heritage.
I will bless the Lord who has / given me / counsel :
and in the night watches / he in/structs my / heart.
I have set the Lord / always be/fore me :
he is at my right / hand; I / shall not / fall.
Wherefore my heart is glad and my / spirit re/joices :
my flesh / also shall / rest se/cure.
For you will not abandon my / soul to / Death :
nor suffer your / faithful one to / see the / Pit.
You will show me the path of life;
in your presence is the / fullness of / joy :
and in your right hand are / pleasures for / ever/more.
Galatians 5. 1, 13-25
Luke 9. 51-62
text from the Church in Wales – Word of the Lord 2011 copyright © Church in Wales Publications 2011