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Parting the Waters - 2 takes! 

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What are your favourite Old Testament stories? I love the story of Moses, a baby saved by floating in the bullrushes, brought up in Pharoah’s palace, the young man struggling with his identity, making mistakes and running away, God commissioned him to set the Israelites free and equipping him for the task. And then there’s the best bit the dramatic race to freedom and the parting of the Red Sea. “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Exodus 14.

What a magnificent demonstration of the power of God and the promise of a new beginning.

A few weeks ago, I was speaking at our Wednesday service from 2 Kings 2, How familiar are you with the story of Elijah and Elisha, or are they names that you hear and go “oh yes them”, without really having looked at their lives? Here’s a very, very quick version, Elijah was a prophet and Elisha his disciple. If you want to know more then I encourage you to read their story in 2 Kings, it has everything exciting.

Anyway, Elijah knows he’s coming to the end of his time and goes with Elisha to the Jordan, he rolls up his cloak, like a staff and strikes the water, which parts and they cross over together. Before this, Elijah has been testing Elisha to make sure he really wants to follow in his footsteps and Elisha is insistent that he does. Then, this huge flaming chariot comes roaring out of the skies, Elijah is taken up in a great swirling wind, up into heaven. He doesn’t die, he is bodily taken to heaven. Elisha sees this and cries out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”

Elisha’s response to this is to pick up Elijah’s cloak and he asks “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?”. Then he strikes the water with it and it divides to the right and to the left, and he crosses back over.”

Elisha has stepped into his inheritance! He has taken up the mantle, and goes on to be a faithful man of God. He performs miracles, as Elijah had done and the overall impression, we get is of a man who is prepared to be involved in society and the everyday details of life. 

What a way to pass the baton! Who passed the baton to you and more importantly who are you passing it to? I’m so very grateful for all the wonderful teaching I received as a child and teenager and on into my adult life, and grateful to all those who prayed for me and mentored me. They were and still are a great encouragement and inspiration. So, I ask again, who are you passing the baton to? It’s never too soon or too late to start. 

Prayer. Dear Lord thank you for being with me, please show me today how I can be someone who is actively encouraging and teaching the next generation about your kingdom. Amen
Catherin Tidmarsh, 25/07/2022