2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
The parts may be portrayed by women, men or youth. They need not memorise but may hold and read their scripts. Microphones will be needed by all three. If there is a high lectern or pulpit, that is a good spot for the Storyteller; a great opportunity to use that old high pulpit! Simple costumes might be shawls over the shoulders of both Elijah and Elisha. Be sure they don’t fall off (use a safety pin). Be sure Elisha’s can be easily removed and torn in two.
Storyteller: When Yahweh is about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha are on their way from Gilgal. The two prophets – teacher and student — have this conversation.
Elijah: “Elisha, stay here; for Yahweh is sending me as far as Bethel.”
Elisha: “As Yahweh lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you, Elijah. We will go to Bethel together.”
Elijah & Elisha walk…
Elijah: “Stay here, Elisha; for Yahweh is sending me to the River Jordan.”
Elisha: “Elijah, as Yahweh lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”
Elijah: Let us then go on together.
Elijah & Elisha walk…
Storyteller: Fifty men of the company of prophets also go, and stand at some distance from Elijah and Elisha, as they both are standing by the Jordan.
[An aside, addressing the congregation: Today you all can be the company of prophets witnessing these events.]
[As storyteller reads slowly, Elijah carries out the actions.]
Then Elijah takes his mantle and rolls it up. Then he strikes the water with it.
The water parts to the one side and to the other, until the two of them, Elijah and Elisha, cross on dry ground.
Elijah: Elisha, now that we have crossed, tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha: Please, Elijah, let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”
Elijah: Elisha, my student, you have asked a hard thing. Yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you. If you do not see me taken, it will not be granted you.
[Elijah and Elisha carry out the actions as they are read: walk across the front of the church and gesture with hands; look up in awe at the fiery chariot.]
Storyteller: As they continue walking and talking, a chariot of fire and swallows, great birds of fire, separates the two of them. [If you are not comfortable dropping the traditional horses, use them.]
Elisha [looking toward Elijah, cries out in a loud voice] Father! Father! The chariots of Israel and its drivers!
Storyteller: And Elijah ascends in a whirlwind into heaven.
[Perhaps Elijah can turn in a circle and go up into the chancel and ‘disappear’ perhaps behind an old pulpit or table or out a side door.]
When Elisha can no longer see Elijah, Elisha grasps his own clothes and tears them in two pieces.
[If Elisha has an old piece of bedding sheet, perhaps wearing it as a belt or shawl, he can easily open it and rend it loudly in two.]
Elisha picks up the mantle of Elijah that has fallen from him, and goes back and stands on the bank of the River Jordan. He takes the mantle of Elijah that has fallen from him, and strikes the water.
Elisha: Where is Yahweh, the God of Elijah? Ah, the water has parted to the one side and to the other, so I, Elisha, will go over. I will cross back to the other side of the River Jordan.
Storyteller: Here ends today’s Bible story about the dramatic departure of the great Prophet Elijah, and his protégé, Elisha, who takes up his mantle. May Yahweh bless our hearing with understanding.