Pause

Give me a Jesus who meets me in the rushing, crashing waters of my questions. Let me stand precariously close to the dark and menacing skies of doubt, so I can hear the fierce and gentle loving voice of my Jesus who drowns out my fears and stands just beyond my questions with open arms.

Michael Yaconelli in Dangerous Wonder (1998)

next >

Listen

There he went into a cave and spent the night.

The Lord’s word came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?”

Elijah replied, “I’ve been very passionate for the Lord God of heavenly forces because the Israelites have abandoned your covenant. They have torn down your altars, and they have murdered your prophets with the sword. I’m the only one left, and now they want to take my life too!”

The Lord said, “Go out and stand at the mountain before the Lord. The Lord is passing by.”

1 Kings 19:9-11a

next >

Think

I was raised in a loving, mostly healthy family who took its faith walk seriously. I was also raised in an area of North America where faith, especially the Christian expression, was welcome and almost assumed. I have literally never been there with Elijah, feeling as though he stood as the lone representative of the faithful prophets against what definitely seemed an evil empire. It should give us pause to consider that in many places around the world, living out the Christian faith means putting your life at risk. We should also consider how minority religions are made to feel in dominant Christian religious cultures of North America.

But not so fast with the idea that this story doesn’t relate to us. There are many times in our lives when we feel alone, even if our lives are not threatened. Even when surrounded by people, we can still feel like the last one remaining. In that, remember that even when Elijah felt alone, God never left him and neither will God leave you.

Byron Vance

next >

Pray

Ever-present God, there are times when I do feel alone. Point me to your presence all around me. Help me to know that with you at my side I could never be alone. Give me also the willingness to stay awake and pay attention as you pass my way. Amen.

next >

Go

Stay awake that you may see the many ways God is with you each day.

Byron Vance

Byron Vance is a United Methodist minister serving as Senior Pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Pell City, Alabama. He gets to share life with spouse Kelly, two teenage boys, a dog, a cat, and the occasional squirrel in the crawl space. Byron served as a PASSPORT summer staff in 1997.

Inside and Out

Jon Chacko

about d365