This is a weird story of water partings and whirlwinds and pregnant pauses – “Yes, I know: be silent." But when the moment comes Elisha sees the chariots and cries out, “Father! Father!” both for Elijah’s passing and the promise “if you see me… it will be granted." Tearing his clothes is a break with the past in the same way that picking up the mantle embraces the future. The passing of the mantle is what the church has been doing for thousands of years. In many ways we inherit a double (or more) portion of what has come before by building on the foundation of everyday saints and sinners all the way back to the first witnesses of the resurrection. Even in this time of uncertainty the story of “God with us” is more than able to preserve the traditions of the past while propelling us into the uncharted future. Of course some garments will be left behind having served their purpose but when we invoke the name of the God of those who gifted us with their prophetic spirit the waters that block our way and threaten to overwhelm us will part and the church will cross over into God’s forever future.