Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pentecost 10

Today's readings: Psalm 34, 1 Kings 19:1-8 (sermon text), Ephesians 4:17-5:2, and John 6:35-51.

As in the hymn, Elijah's soul lay still, and the Lord delivered him. In the story's historical context, Israel was divided, Jezebel and Ahab ruled, and she had just promised to kill Elijah. Some time beforehand, his God had won a contest with Baal; as a result, 850 prophets of Baal had been put to death. God had shown that He is in charge.

Jezebel was hopping mad, not even regarding her own life in her quest to get rid of this prophet. He promptly ran to the southernmost part of Judah - Beersheba - as far as possible away from the queen. In Beersheba, there was nothing but wilderness and the occasional scrubby broom tree. Under one Elijah sat, sinning twice: first, running away from God, and second, giving up. Then he slept disconsolately. (What would we do?)

But! God had mercy on Elijah, for His mercy has no end. He gave him food, roused him, and ordered him to take heart. Twice, God (the Father and the Son - "the Angel of the LORD") fed and watered him. Don't take lightly the food and drink He gives to us - His very own body and blood for our eternal sustenance.

The story concludes. The two meals gave him 40 days' and nights' strength to pilgrimage to the mountain of God, Horeb (aka Sinai). Let us draw strength from the Sacrament of the Altar as well to continue our pilgrimages.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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