"And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him." 2 Kings 2:9-15
This story of Elijah passing his mantle on to Elisha has been on my mind the past week or so. You may be wondering, "What exactly is a mantle?" According to the online dictionary it refers to 'a garment regarded as a symbol of someone's power or authority.' The theme for my youngest son's homeschool graduation on May 11th was taken from Acts 13:47, "For so the Lord has commanded us saying, 'I have made you a light for the gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" The program cover said, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!"
At the beginning of the ceremony, each graduate filed into the auditorium followed by their parents. One parent held a lit candle. As each family approached the stage, we stopped, and passed the lit candle off to our child, symbolizing this passing the mantle on to the next generation. I've been ruminating on this ever since - the significance of passing on to our children the importance of letting our lights shine in the world around us. I pray that my light will continue to shine for Christ as I follow His call on my life, but I also pray that my children and their children will also shine their light to the future generation, so that others will see Jesus in our lives.
May your light shine for Him!