September 14, 2021

Picking Up the Mantle


Psalm 125

2 Kings 2:9-22


Have you ever heard the saying that someone was “picking up the mantle” from someone else — meaning they were assuming that person’s role and responsibilities? Today’s reading gives us the origin of that common English idiom in the story of Elijah, and his apprentice, Elisha.

The prophet Elijah is nearing the end of his earthly life. He asks Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answers, “Please let me inherit a double measure of your spirit.” 

Elisha could have asked Elijah for anything, but what he wanted most was to be like his master — to follow in his footsteps and serve God the way Elijah did. Elisha desired to be Elijah’s successor because he, too, wanted to serve God in the same way and with the same power Elijah exhibited. 

Think about your life. Who have been the guides and mentors who have led the way for you? Have you ever been asked to “pick up the mantle” from one of them? Did you feel ready to accept the responsibility? 


  • From whom would you like to “pick up the mantle”? What mentor, teacher, or guide would you like to imitate in your own life?
  • Who are you influencing and guiding? What would you wish to pass on to them?


  • Who do you want to be like when you grow up? What do you need to do now to be like them when you’re grown?


Gracious God, thank you for the persons in our lives who have been mentors and guides. Help us to be willing to “pick up their mantles” of service and love for you. Amen.