December 12 - Elijah
1 Kings 18
God had promised Abraham that his family would grow into a nation. Moses had led them out of Egypt where they were slaves to the Promised Land. David was a great king who trusted God, but people had short memories and forgot what God had done so he sent prophets to remind them and warn them.
Under King Ahab people had begun to worship other gods and so Elijah, one of God’s prophets, wanted to show everyone that there was only one God. The competition was simple, two stone platforms were built as a base for a sacrifice. The wood was in place, the meat was laid out, but nobody was to light the fire, that was to test the power of the gods.
One set of priests danced about and prayed for most of the day but no fire. Elijah even teased them, telling them to make even more noise. But nothing happened.
Before Elijah started to pray he had buckets and buckets of water poured over the sacrifice so that it was well and truly soaked. Then he asked God to set light to it all. Within seconds everything had gone up in smoke.
There was only one God, the one who made the world.
Water is an important symbol in the Bible often representing being made right with God again. Read this prayer from the Baptism service together
We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life. Over water the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through water you led the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. In water your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us from the death of sin to newness of life. We thank you, Father, for the water of baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in joyful obedience to your Son, we baptize into his fellowship those who come to him in faith. Now sanctify this water that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, they may be cleansed from sin and born again. Renewed in your image, may they walk by the light of faith and continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen
We might not worship other Gods like the people in today’s story, but sometimes we do let other things become more important than our friendship with him. Have a think about whether you have any habits or priorities that need to change