Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sun. Aug. 21, 2011 (Janice Kreider)

A visit to Janice Kreider’s by idealistic students excited about food security led her to contemplate the perils to our food supply, from ‘food deserts’ in major cities to radiation contamination. Noting that we’re never too far from hunger in our carefully-balanced society, we take food for granted where our ancestors fleeing Europe and Russia couldn’t afford to. In the time of Judges and early kings of Israel, awareness of hunger was acute, and proxy confrontations between Baal and the God of all things formed the foundation of the story of Elijah and the Widow of Arephath. During a drought and famine like today’s in Africa, Elijah’s needs were supplied by God - first by the ravens, and then by the widow whose inexhaustible store of basic foodstuffs never dried up, and last by the raising of her son from the dead - leading the widow to a perhaps-tentative faith in the God of all things. Of this (and other) Biblical miracles, Wendell Berry wrote “I don’t think it’s enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is best read and understood outdoors... Passages that, within walls seem improbably or incredible, seem outdoors [to be] merely natural.” Janice raised a number of points to consider as we ponder the precariousness of our existence. In famine, the community failed to care for the widow, but God cared when Baal could not. How will our own society meet the same evil? Will we learn the same lesson of salvation through faithfulness? Such evil has consequences that ricochet for decades longer than we expect, and in the past, the church has often proved itself inadequate to meet the test of faithfulness. What will be different next time? Will we act consonant with “The Word of The Lord”, risk what the widow risked in trusting a God most of us know no better than she did, or will we sell our souls to avarice and look out only for our own? The opportunity is here every day, right now; if we forget, Jesus encourages us to remind ourselves, as Janice did, with communal prayer from Matthew 6; “Our Father, who art in heaven... give us this day our bread for tomorrow...” [AP]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, August 21st, 2011 using your browser's preferred media player.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home