The Invitation

A reading for Wednesday, November 4, 2015: 1 Kings 17:8-16.

It's not an indictment, but an invitation. The problem with serving others from a position of power and privilege is that it masks our own need to be vulnerable and humble before God.

Elijah was first in a place of need. He was hungry and was encouraged by God to be fed by a woman and her son who had so little they could barely survive. It almost seems cruel to us for God to ask something of someone so desperate. But God knows only then was Elijah in a position to proclaim dependence on God for both of them. "The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth." Notice even in the end Elijah was not the one with the resources to provide, but instead was equally dependent on God for survival.

To really serve others might mean we identify with their need and our own need. Not the need to feel good about helping another with the abundance of resources we possess, but the need to be utterly dependent on and vulnerable to God. Elijah first receives the hospitality of the woman before he then knows the ability to connect her with God's hospitality. God is the one providing for both of them.

The invitation is to join with God in serving, where both the one who offers hospitality and the one receiving it are both transformed by God's mercy and grace. Then we truly worship Jesus and not merely our own ability...


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