Week of Proper 5: Tuesday, Year 2   13 comments

Above:  Elijah

For the Glory of God

JUNE 12, 2018

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Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church, contains an adapted two-years weekday lectionary for the Epiphany and Ordinary Time seasons from the Anglican Church of Canada.  I invite you to follow it with me.

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1 Kings 17:7-16 (TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures):

After some time the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land.  And the word of the LORD came to him:

Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon, and stay there; I have designated a widow there to feed you.

So he went at once to Zarephath.  When he came to the entrance of the town, a widow was there gathering wood.  He called out to her,

Please bring me a little water in your pitcher, and let me drink.

As she went to fetch it, he called out to her,

Please bring along a piece of bread for me.

She replied,

As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, nothing but a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug.  I am just gathering a couple of sticks, s that I can go home and prepare it for me and my son; we shall eat it and then we shall die.

Elijah said to her,

Don’t be afraid.  Go and do as you have said; but first make me a small cake from what you have there, and bring it out to me; then make some for yourself and your son.  For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:  The jar of flour shall not give out and the jug oil shall not fail until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the ground.

She went and did as Elijah had spoken, and she and he and her household had food for a long time.  The jar of flour did not give out, nor did the jug of oil fail, just as the LORD had spoken through Elijah.

Psalm 4 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause;

you set me free when I am hard-pressed;

have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2  ”You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory;

how long will  you worship dumb idols

and run after false gods?

3  Know that the LORD does wonders for the faithful;

when I call upon the LORD, he will hear me.

4  Tremble, then, and do not sin;

speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

5  Offer the appointed sacrifices

and put your trust in the LORD.

6  Many are saying,

“Oh, that we might see better times!”

Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O LORD.

7  You have put gladness in my heart,

more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

8  I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep;

for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Matthew 5:13-16 (An American Translation):

[Jesus continued:]

You are the salt of the earth!  But if salt loses its strength, how can it be made salt again?  It is good for nothing but to be thrown away and trodden underfoot.  You are the light of the world!  A city that is built upon a hill cannot be hidden.  People do not light a lamp and put it under a peck-measure; they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.  Your light must burn in that way among men so that they will see the good you do, and praise your Father in heaven.

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The Collect:

O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth:  Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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Some Related Posts:

Week of Proper 5:  Tuesday, Year 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/week-of-proper-5-tuesday-year-1/

Matthew 5:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/fifth-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a/

Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/where-cross-the-crowded-ways-of-life/

In Remembrance of Me:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/in-remembrance-of-me/

Ours the Journey:

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/ours-the-journey/

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We read in Matthew 5 to act in such ways that others who see our good deeds will praise God.  Our actions ought to bring glory to God, not us.  We read also (in Matthew 6:1-5) not to seek glory for ourselves.  This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it is possible by grace.

Our reading from 1 Kings brings us to a miracle story–not the only one–involving Elijah.  That does not interest me, however.  No, I take interest in the bigger picture.  Today we read a story of God helping vulnerable people–a prophet, a widow, and her son.  We ought, trusting in and working with God, the story tells us, to function as instruments of grace for each other.  And often, as in 1 Kings 7:7-16, people in need become conduits of God’s aid to each other.

We cannot see God, but we can apply our senses to each other.  Where one person is strong, another is weak.  I, for example, might have an abundance of X and a dearth of Y, but your situation might be the reverse.  Should we not, for our mutual benefit and the glory of God, help each other?  Of course we should!

May we do so.

KRT

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