Laura McLaughlin, Director of Preschool Ministries
Specifically 2 Kings 2:11 – And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.
I’ve told many, many, many Bible stories to children. It’s a thing I do well. I’ve slithered through the freshly minted Garden of Eden, sloshed around with Noah on his big smelly boat, traipsed across muddy fields with David and his slingshot, and taxied around the sea in the belly of a whale with Jonah. I’ve even pretended to ride around in a whirlwind on my way to heaven like what happened to our buddy Elijah in today’s reading …. #dizzydizzydizzy #nojetpackneeded #elijahgoinhome #notElishabutElijah. You get the picture.
And you know, it’s the funniest thing, you would think kids would really be impressed by all the drama around these miracles – and they are somewhat, but most kids are like, of course God took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind! Of course Moses parted the Red Sea! Of course Jesus fed 5000 people with some kid’s lunch. Why wouldn’t He do it that way? I think children actually understand miracles better than most adults. They don’t feel the need to overthink the circumstance. They just let God be God and do His thing. No wonder Jesus said, “Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the gates of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3).
Elijah let God be God throughout his life. And he did this even though God called Elijah during one of the most dismal chapter’s in Israel’s history. He seemed to have a matter of fact, direct connection with God, and miracles happened right and left. It seems like a poetic end that God would just grab him and go “whoosh” up to heaven.
Next time I try to explain away a miracle, I’ll be reminded of Elijah and his God, my God. And I’ll have the proper response: Of course!