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November 1, 2020 – All Saints’ – At the Edges

1 Kings 17:1-16 [17-24]

Elijah is one of the big names in the Bible. People this Jesus is him, and that should place him in the power and memory structure of the people of God. So it isn’t really surprising that God does some work to keep Elijah alive during a famine. The first way in which God keeps Elijah alive is by sending him to hide in a wadi and having ravens bring him food. That works for a little while, and should confirm that Elijah is someone special.

Next Elijah gets sent to mooch off a widow in Sidon. Out of the traditional territory of Israel, the widow refers to God as Elijah’s God, and this is who is supposed to feed Elijah. She and her son are starving. They are down to their last meal. These are the people who are supposed to save God’s prophet.

Often we ask an awful lot of people who are already at the breaking point. There is a saying that if you want something to get done, give it to the busiest person you know. At the same time, we all too often burden those with already heavy loads with even more. So why would God send Elijah to people who don’t have enough?

Why send us to grieving people? Why send us to the hungry? Why send us to the oppressed? Why send us to the sick, the imprisoned, the hungry, the homeless, the naked? Why send us to them to get help for us, or is God doing something different in all of this?