July 20, 2008
The 5th Sunday of Pentecost
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit Glory to Jesus Christ!
I was a little worried today because every year for all the time I’ve been here we’ve prayed on St. Elias’ day for rain, and we’ve gotten a lot of rain every year, and we don’t want a lot of rain most of today, but we do want rain. Then God solved my problem: I can’t find the prayer. So we would all ask God to give us just showers, and seasonable weather, beginning about six o’clock.
Today is St. Elias day, and St. Elias is a wonderful, wonderful great saint of the church. The forerunner, as it were, of the forerunner. The one who came before John the Baptist, was the pattern of John the Baptist. And there were many things that Elias did, but I want to speak to you primarily about one of them. We understand how he confronted King Ahab when Ahab had stolen the ground of Naboth the Jezreelite, and had had Naboth tried on phony charges and put to death so that he could own it. We understand how he rebuked also that same king, Ahab, for having built altars to the fertility god Baal in honor of his wife Jezebel, and we know how he at various times stood in the very midst of the royal courts surrounded by the kings guards who could have slain him and was fearless.
I want to talk to you about one episode in Elias’ life. Having rebuked Ahab, and having prayed to God and cause the rain to stop for three and a half years – and why did he do that? To punish the Israelites? No. It’s because they had come to believe that Baal, who was the rain god of the Canaanites, was the one responsible for the rain. So then Elijah said “Okay then, I’ll show you. My God’s not going to let any rain fall. So you go call on Baal all day long and all night long and see what happens. Well, after three and a half years, Elijah summoned the priests of Baal to
Elijah was desperate because she offered a big reward. The Israelites, who a few hours earlier had said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” now were trying to figure out how to collect the ransom.
And so he ran off and he stayed in the wilderness and he prayed to God to die. And he slept, and then God woke him and fed him, the food brought to him in the wilderness by ravens. Again he prayed, and he saw upon a stone, bread and a cup of water and he ate again. And God said, “Go on the strength of this food to
And Elijah went and he anointed a king for the Syrians, and he anointed a king for
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Glory to Jesus Christ!