We tend to focus on Elijah in this passage, but look at Elisha’s devotion to Elijah and his grief when they are parted. He tears his clothes in two and cries out “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” as he feels all alone. Yet God is present and the waters are parted.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with doubting God’s presence in our grief or troubles. We need to be reminded that God is present and hears us.
So create an image of yourself parting the waters with the times you’ve wondered if God was present written on one side and the times when you’ve felt God’s presence on the other.
This is a follow-up to 2 Kings where you create a reminder of God’s presence.
By hand: In large letters that you’ll be able to decorate, write verse 1. You can then fill in the background with images or phrases of when God has been present to you.
Photoshop: Type in the phrases when God was present to you and create a text background. On a different layer or layers make verse 1 larger and more decorative – you may want to outline the text and color by hand after printing. If you want, add images over the background text and around verse 1.
This week’s passage contains a vice list and a virtue list (fruits of the Spirit). As we work to become better followers of Jesus, it is best to focus on the virtues as we give up our vices.
You’re going to create a still life of the fruits of the Spirit. Pick up a fruit to go with each virtue at the grocery story or farmers’ market then arrange them when you get home. As you draw your still life think of how you display that fruit in your life and how you can encourage its growth. As you eat the fruits “taste” the goodness in them!
This is an odd passage with a harsh, unforgiving of his follower’s weaknesses Jesus. I can’t imagine many he encountered on his way to Jerusalem began to follow him.
And worse, it’s just bad pastoral care advice. We need to mourn those who die, we need to say goodbye and we will suffer doubts. Yet these can’t overwhelm or take precedence over following Jesus throughout our life.
Similar to the psalm project, focus on the person who calls out “I will follow you wherever you go.” For your background include how you have followed Jesus. Make a collage of photos of you participating in church activities, on mission trips or other activities that display the fruits of the Spirit from the Galatians reflection.