Archive for June, 2010
June 20, 2010 1 Kings 19:1-15a BRUMC Elijah.. Stormy Weather, Peaceful Presence: Father Day
(NRSV) 19:1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how Ahab had killed all the prophets with the sword. 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow." 19:3 Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there. 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors." 19:5 Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, "Get up and eat." 19:6 He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 19:7 The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, "Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you." 19:8 He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. 19:9 At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 19:10 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away." 19:11 He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 19:12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 19:13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 19:14 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away." 19:15a Then the LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus.
In times of Trouble Daddy is there to help.
One of the solid assurances that my father gave to me was the steadfast truth that no matter, the matter, Daddy would be there for me.
Most of the time he was at the church, at a meeting, at the hospital, at some other place, I always knew unconditional love would stand with me.
I treasure the time that my father shared mountains, campfires, caves, camping in both days and nights.
In First Kings we see Elijah spend time with God.
On this Father’s Day and day of leaving.. It is important that we spend time with God.
Elijah is on the run, running for his life.
The king, the law, the world is against him and wants him dead.
We live in times when the world looks at those who good hearts, good deeds, and good Godly callings and
They want us out of the way, out of power, out of sight, and even dead.
What wants us to move our faith, love and grace out of the way?
Greed says, You don’t have enough
Pride says, You don’t get your way
Jealousy says, It was your idea to start with…
Lust says, You deserve self gratification at any cost.
Fear says, God is not able or doesn’t really care about you.
Elijah, hears the threats upon his way of life and his very life itself.. and is ready to give up, give in.
When are the times you want to sit under a tree and die?
In times of grief.
In times of failure.
In moments of pain.
In the grip of guilt and shame.
In times of rejection or loneliness.
God is never so far away, that God does not know what we need…
God is with us in the earthquakes, the fires and the wind… be we have to listen.. quietly listen, to him instead of listening to ourselves.
Speaking of Listening.. I recall my father would listen to the top ten pop songs with me as Casey Kasem would go through the Top 40 songs… We would listen to Earth Wind and Fire: … one hit was called Burnin’ Bush.
Album SPIRIT: (P) SONY BMG MUSIC INTERTAINMENT 1976, 2001
Earth, Wind and Fire: Burnin’ Bush
What does it take to show an illustration? Of the hurt and the pain of a nation
One glowing look upon a ragged canvas Tells the story of our past and present situation
That old bush just keeps on burning Shares the hope for future learning
Nobody seams to show they’re learning That old bush just keeps on burning
And I wonder will we ever feel the flame, This way of life on total exhibition
Show the way In which we live as an Impatient nation This tree of life so far from perfection
Share a little love to Improve our situation, That old bush just keeps on burning
Nobody seems to show they’re learning Flow of light could really stand a listen
Bring the dark to the light, show us What we’ve been missing?
Not many men are satisfied Without no light, there ain’t no pride
Gonna shout it from the mountain top this evening I wonder could it ever be the same
I wonder will we ever feel the flame, alright There gonna come a time
Things that are on your mind Trust me and you will find
Everything In your mind True love is here to find Simple as number nine
Multiply you will find Peace and Love all the time.
I don’t know if they intended their lyrics to speak of Elijah in First Kings, but they do!
Elijah feeds what God provides
Elijah is quiet in the storm
Elijah is restored with peace to return, even where his life is threatened.
That’s where we are and how we life as children of faith.
Let us Pray:
Life is sometimes like a giant spider web. We seem to get caught and entangled in its threads, not knowing which way to turn or how to extricate our selves from the dilemmas in which we are trapped. Lord, you know that so many of these dilemmas and burdens are of our own creation, coming out of our stubbornness and fear. We find it much easier to turn our back on people in need, or just write a check and hope that the problems go away. Forgive us when we decide not to become involved in the solution, when we would rather back off from helping and turn and run for cover. Give us an extra measure of courage and strength along with your forgiving love, that we may again place our whole trust in you. Open our hearts today, O Lord, to feel the powerful strength and love you have for us. Help us to listen, not only with our ears, but with our spirits for your words of compassion and healing. Enable us to become more faithful disciples for you;.
Gal 2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. 17 But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. (NRSV)
3 Lessons: Self-less, shared and Service
- Christ Died that we could life for God
- Disciples learn to live as servants not owners of God’s Kingdom.
- Kingdom ownership comes from living like we are partners with Christ
Undercover Boss: Each week a different executive will leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their company. While working alongside their employees, they will see the effects their decisions have on others, where problems lie within their organization and get an up-close look at both good and bad while discovering unsung heroes who make their company run.
Jesus comes incognito: Takes on the form of a servant, not the master, owner, lord.
Passage Philippians 2:5-11: (The Message)
5 -8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. 9 -11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
(NRSV) 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Law demarcates our status: being IN/OUT of relationship w/God.
- Are we making choices that build our relationship with God and others? or not?
- Are we thinking God like thoughts about personal and world problems? or by who’s agenda?
- Are we acting in ways that reflect the heart and witness of Jesus Christ, or our own?
Paul reminds the US and the church at Galatia that: It is Jesus who takes our place. His death, is a self-less gift, that our self might be right with God.
Paul’s cautions us not to pick back up what God has laid down for us…
..if we do, then Christ means nothing to us.
..if we do, his death makes no difference to us.
Think for a moment about all the parables that Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God.
..the Kingdom is like a servant, a gardener, a shepherd, an accountant, a teacher, a neighbor
ALL of these are relational, service oriented examples:
The vine dresser, the servant, the shepherd, the manager, the teacher.. NONE
own the vine yard, the business, the sheep, the truth..
But ALL are ENTRUSTED as though they were..
Here is the heart of the passage: Disciples live as if they are entrusted with the Kingdom..
This is why Christ died for us.. to be partners in the Kingdom of God.
Too often folks get it backwards: we do good deeds, kind words, nice thoughts to prove or earn the Kingdom.
God has already given us the Kingdom, through Jesus Christ, WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH IT?
Dying to Self is not becoming worthless: it is finding our worth in Christ’s presence in and with the World.
Four years we have journeyed tog