The Collect: O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
The Response: Psalm 96 was led by David Maitland. *(verse 2) “Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.”
The First Reading 1 Kings 18: 20-39 was read by Arthur Clark. Elijah is exasperated with the people who are still worshiping Baal as well as God. He decides to prove that Baal is not a god, but simply their idol with no godly powers. He devises a contest between the Baal believers and the Lord. He tells them to build an altar and ask Baal to put fire to it to burn the sacrifice. After much praying and yelling and imploring to Baal, nothing happens. Then Elijah builds his altar and sacrifice and even pours water on it. Then he prays to God to send the fire. “Let it be known this day that you are the God of Israel.” God not only lights the wood, but the fire licks up all the water, leaving a dry space. “When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord indeed is God; the Lord indeed is God.”
The Second Reading, Galatians 1:1-12, was read by John Greve. Paul writes them about his concern that they are listening to a different gospel than the one that the apostles had taught them. He warned them that there are some who want to confuse and pervert the gospel of Christ. Paul states that he is not trying to please people, but please God. He tells them that the gospel he proclaims is not of human origin; “for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Reverend Riggins spoke of the prophets and how they predicted the future events and warned the people of their wayward lives. Elijah was a very dynamic and active prophet. He spoke of love, honor, and redemption. This was evident in his contest of God versus Baal with the people. He didn’t just want to prove that God is better, but that he is the one true God and all powerful.
Sometimes the Bible readings include violence and destruction, and we don’t always want to hear that part. In this case, all the Baal followers were killed. This is a factor of the culture of those times. The books of the Bible have been canonized and we need to read and understand the meaning of it all. This narrative is a call to us today to do away with anything that distracts us from God. We are to hold one God and cling to him in our hearts. This is the relationship that God wants with his people.
This is the foundation of how our life began. We are not to put earthly problems and concerns before our worship of God. The commandments tell us to have no other God before him. Follow the Lord, be in awe, obey, serve, and hold him fast. We must keep our lives in order by our alliance with God. Everyone must deal with earthly matters, but when we have God first in our hearts, He will be with us to help and guide our way. We can handle matters when we have our hearts clinging to God. It will make living easier and more meaningful. Our world becomes firm and we cannot be shaken.
This Saturday several members will attend the “Abide in Me” conference on the TMI campus in San Antonio. On Sunday, June 9, St. Matthew’s will have Reverend Gina Frnka as pastor at the 9 a.m. worship service. PIM website.