Canon Jim Irvinethe penultimate WORD
Series 1998 - Proper 12
Where do we find God? 

 

 

Look, Elijah was scared. Really scared. It didn’t matter that he was the prophet of the LORD.

And Jezebel’s threat of death was enough to make him escape for his life!

Sought out and found, the LORD asked Elijah the penetrating question, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" No matter what inflection we put on the words, the question challenged Elijah.

The frightened prophet, hiding in the mouth of the cave, looked for the LORD in traditional and expected ways. He looked for the Lord in the wind, as once God demonstrated his Presence when the sea was divided and the Children of Israel escaped from Egypt… but the LORD was not found in the wind, in spite of its strength!

He looked for the LORD in the earthquake, as once God demonstrated his Presence when the walled city of Jericho was breached… but the LORD was not found in the earthquake, terrifying though it was!

He looked for the LORD in the fire, as once God demonstrated his Presence on Mount Sinai when the Law was given… but the LORD was not found in the fire, as fearful and as all consuming that is.

In the solitude of silence Elijah perceived the presence of the LORD, and it frightened him! He wrapped his face in his mantle. He hid! The unexpected startled him. He was taken unawares.

God is not traditionally encountered. He is no more fixed and set in a normative way that we are ourselves.

The LORD dynamically met Elijah precisely where Elijah was. Had this been a simple repetition of others’ accounts, Elijah would not have found God for himself!

And what about us? Where do we find God?

Whenever we have courage to let him in!

Copyright © 1998 James T. Irvine

Series 1998

Epiphany Home Study begins January Epiphany 2008 Study: WHERE GOD HAPPENS by Rowan Williams Rowan Williams Where God Happens