He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, God! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!”
1 Kings 19:4 (Message)
Help us Lord God to understand that when we are exhausted and at out wits end you are there to revive us and refresh us.
We welcome our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Chris and Joan
Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Elizabeth Coulton in memory of her parents Arthur and Gladys Down
Organist: Iris Edwards
Sunday 16th August
11.00am Mr David Pickstone
Vestry Stewards – Ian and Elizabeth
Door Steward – Betti
Tea Hosts – Betti and Val
Mon 10th Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Wed 12th Ephesians Bible Study VI at Ruabon 7.00pm
Tue 25th Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am – noon
Please pray for the following:
All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.
Listening to God
1 Kings 19:11-13
God is our true friend, who always gives us the counsel and comfort we need. Our danger lies in resisting him; so it is essential that we acquire the habit of hearkening to his voice, or keeping silence withi, and listening so as to lose nothing of what he says to us. We know well enough how to keep outward silence, and to hush our spoken words, but we know little of interior silence. It consists in hushing our idle, rstless, wandering imagination, in quieting the promptings of our worldly minds, and in suppressing the crowd of unprofitable thoughts which excite and disturb the soul.
In the course of a Christian Unity meeting in a parish in the Midlands it was decided to draw up a list of local organisations that might be approached. At the mention of one group, however, a man’s voice loudly intervened, ‘It’s no use contacting the Young Wives in our village. They’ve disbanded and joined the Over-Sixties.’
God’s Diagnostic Question
1 King 19:1-15
Elijah has fled to a solitary place. God meets him there with one question… One diagnostic question: What are you doing here?
As I read it, he answers with three bits of information. How he’s been? I have been zealous.
How the people are: they have forsaken the covenant, thrown down altars and killed your prophets.
Then Elijah tells God why he’s in the wilderness: they’re going to kill me.
God’s diagnosis: Elijah is tired and hungry.
God’s treatment plan: A little nap under the tree and some cakes delivered by an angel. Check.
Then God instructs Elijah to go to the mountain because God is about to pass by. Elijah complies with God’s treatment plan. And sure enough God passes by. And then it begins again.
God’s diagnostic question remains the same: What are you doing here? Elijah’s answer remains the same. God’s diagnosis is not the same this time. And God’s treatment plan is also not the same.
God’s diagnosis: Elijah needs colleagues.
God’s treatment plan: God offers help, tangible help with the calling of a new king and a new prophet. God gives Elijah colleagues.
From a pastoral care point of view, this text is fairly instructive. God asks a simple question and listens for and inside Elijah’s answer. The treatment plan is comprehensive. God’s diagnosis is complex. Elijah’s needs are met on a physical, emotional and spiritual level… and relational level.
While I’ve “yadda yadda yadda’d” over the whole wind, earthquake and sheer silence section, I’m fully intrigued by God’s care of this solitary leader. And so for us preachers who often find ourselves running away to a wilderness place (or wishing we could run away to a solitary place), how might we answer God’s diagnostic question, What are you doing here? Elijah gives us a little help in answer this question. He answered by saying how had he been, how the people are and why he was in the wilderness.
How have you been?
What’s going on with the people?
And why are you in the wilderness?
I wonder what God’s diagnosis and treatment plan might be for us if we were to have an honest conversation like this with God.
Beth Scibienski, Grace Presbyterian Church, New Jersey, USA