Sunday March 22, 10:30 a.m.
We conclude our journey with Elijah this morning (I Kings 19). The prophet has been loyal to his God, and his trust has not been in vain – the Lord was revealed as the One with life-giving power, symbolized here by a downpour of rain after a time of terrible drought. But even this gift of grace is not sufficient to turn the heart of the people and their king, Ahab … and Elijah must flee once again. In the wilderness once again, he hears a voice within whisper that all is futility, all is failure, and he cries out ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life’ (verse 4). It is a voice that many have heard, even and perhaps particularly people of faith.
But an angel was sent to embrace Elijah with care, setting bread and water by his head, for life. And later when Elijah was withdrawn in a cave, the Lord came, not in the wind, or earthquake or fire, but in a ‘still small voice’. While the voice within Elijah spoke of futility, this voice spoke of a continuing journey, one filled with purpose by the Holy One – Elijah was commissioned to anoint new rulers for the peoples, to open up new beginnings.
The voices we hear – the voice of human despair, the voice of holy grace. Not one or the other, but both.
Have a look at our Order of Worship for this Sunday, and if you are in the neighbourhood, join us!
It is a poignant scene, drawn for us by Rembrandt. The prophet Elijah has fled his own people for his life, and a woman of another land has sacrificially shared what little food she had. And now as her son lies without breath, Elijah cries ‘Why did you do such a terrible thing to this widow, O God? She has been kind enough to take care of me, and now you kill her son.’ (I Kings 17:20)
Why do the good suffer? Why does tragedy afflict the innocent? Where is God?
These weeks of Lent we journey to Jerusalem, and we do so with integrity, with deep honesty. This is not an easy path, for we acknowledge cries of grief and lift up questions of life and death.
But through the cries and the questions, we shall hear that God is in the midst of it all, at work to bring good out of evil and life out of death, and we shall leave singing of what we have heard in Jesus Christ – ‘I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry … I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have borne my people’s pain …’
Thanks be to God. Join us!
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is once again inviting qualified students to apply for summer positions working as Cultural Interpreters this coming summer, to offer interpretive tours of our historic church.
If you are (or know of) students looking for summer employment and this is a good fit, please see below job description and application instructions. Note that the deadline to apply is March 15, 2015.