Elijah: Called to speak the truth in love
Yesterday we looked at the Portrait of Faith presented in the stories of Elijah. Elijah was a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel and was called to confront Israel’s worship of Ba’al (a Phoenician fertility god) in place of the Lord (Yahweh, the God of Israel).
In Elijah’s stories we are reminded that it isn’t enough that in worship we say the right things about what we believe. Our true worship is about what clear priorities we make in the living of our lives seven days a week. We may worship God on Sunday, but through the week does our life look as if our every action is worshiping a way of love, grace, forgiveness, and care.
Elijah holds up a mirror so we can see ourselves.
Clearly we do not worship Ba’al. But we do worship other gods. They range in scope from entertainment and popularity to political parties and capitalism to violence and competition.
These are all forms of power that we worship and become the ways and means we use to secure a future. And one and all, they are a poor replacement for the way of Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean they are compete bad – but they are bad when they become gods to us that are unquestionable and claim more allegiance to our time and energy than following in the way of Christ does.
God called a widow to share her last meal with Elijah, God sees worth not in how useful someone is but simply by virtue of their existence, and God calls us to self-giving love that seeks not our own good but the common good with particular eye to those unable to care for themselves.
Is this the image you see when you look in the mirror? This Lenten season as we reflect on our lives and seek to make them align closer to the life of Christ let us help each other by holding up the mirror to one another, and loving each other for what we see there even as we seek to change it for the better.
(These are summary thoughts from sermon on Sunday, Feb. 24th. You can find a link to that sermon here: http://www.first-presbyterian.org/sermons/20130224/20130224.cfm)