June 23, 2013

1 Kings 19:1-15a Psalm 42 Luke 8:26-39 “I Shall Again Praise God” Over the last several weeks, today, and next Sunday, the Old Testament readings in the lectionary have been the great stories of the prophet Elijah. We heard about Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal to a contest between the gods, and demonstrating powerfully that the God of Israel is the one true God. Then we had the story about Elijah’s visit to a poor widow in Zarephath. He invited her to share the few resources she had in the midst of a drought, and with God’s help he multiplied her grain and her oil so that she and her family were fed for many days. Then when the widow’s son died, God gave Elijah the power to raise him back to life, and he did. We skipped over last week’s reading about Elijah in order to celebrate Christian Family Sunday, but it was the one in which King Ahab and his wife Jezebel get a man killed in order to take possession of his vineyard. God sends Elijah to challenge the king and accuse him of his wrongdoing. Elijah serves as the prophet of truth and justice, assuring the king that he will suffer the consequences of his own evil deeds. Next week’s story will be the final one about Elijah. We’ll hear about the end of his life – not his death, but the day that he is taken up directly into heaven to be with God … Read more »

August 13, 2017

1 Kings 19:9-18 Matthew 14:22-33 “Meeting Jesus in the Storm” The Revised Common Lectionary provides us with a set of readings for each Sunday, and the first thing that ministers tend to do in studying them is to look for some kind of connection between them. Why do we have Elijah’s panic attack paired with Jesus’ walking on the water today? Two interesting stories… but what do they have to do with each other? Well, the first connection I noticed was that both stories have storms. The disciples encounter a windstorm out on the lake, causing their boat to be battered by the waves and likely making the rowing very difficult. And Elijah, after running away to hide in a cave, experiences a great wind, an earthquake, and a fire… followed by the voice of God asking him, “What are you doing here?” And it’s not just the strong winds that connect today’s stories, but also the good news that in the midst of those storms, God speaks to us, and God comes to us. Can you remember some storms that you’ve been through in your life? Perhaps some actual storms with thunder and lightning striking, with mighty winds causing destruction, or with blowing and drifting snow that obscures vision and causes accidents. I am remembering the panic I felt many years ago, when I experienced a white-out as I was driving on the highway between Saskatoon and Regina. I was relieved not to be alone in the car when … Read more »