This is Marnie Leinberger’s sermon from Sunday, August 12, 2012. The scripture is 1 Kings 19:4-13. In our service we read from the New Revised Standard Version and from The Message, a modern interpretation by Eugene Peterson. We read both with the hope that our understanding will be enriched.
This is from The Message:
3When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. 4He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day's journey. 5He 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!" Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush. Suddenly an angel shook him awake and said, "Get up and eat!" 6 He looked around and, to his surprise, right by his head were a loaf of bread baked on some coals and a jug of water. He ate the meal and went back to sleep. 7 The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, "Get up and eat some more—you've got a long journey ahead of you." 8He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. 9When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep. Then the word of God came to him: "So Elijah, what are you doing here?" 10"I've been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies," said Elijah. "The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I'm the only one left, and now they're trying to kill me." 11Then he was told, "Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by." A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; 12after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. 13When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, "So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?"
The New Revised Standard Version can be found here.