Much could be said of the exaggerated and hyperbolic showmanship of this contest Elijah sets up between himself and the prophets of Baal. But step back from the spectacle, and I want to know why the people remembered this story, told it over and over, and eventually wrote it down? Might it have to do with the quiet way that Elijah calls the people to remember who (and whose) they are. “Come closer,” he says. Then, in their near presence, he silently rebuilds an altar, lays 12 stones for 12 tribes, and with simple, quiet action reminds them that they are indeed God’s own. They cannot worship both God and Baal. Despite the prevailing cultural norm that they don’t need to choose amongst gods, Elijah seeks to convey that they must indeed choose. And that choice is consequential. Might our central and centering practice of communion similarly help us remember who we are as God’s beloveds and followers of Jesus in a world where false gods vie for our ultimate loyalties?
Megan M Ramer
Narrative Lectionary, Year 2, Fall
- BibleWorm podcast: Episode 509 – Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, Amy Robertson and Robert Williamson, Jr.
- Image: members of Seattle Mennonite Church call for a ceasefire in Gaza at an interfaith action coordinated by Jewish Voice for Peace, at the Federal Building in Seattle, November 2023
- Hymn: 196, Come and Seek the Ways of Wisdom. Lyrics: Ruth Duck (USA), 1993, © 1996 The Pilgrim Press. Music: Donna Kasbohm (USA), 1995, © 1997 The Pilgrim Press. Permission to podcast the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-726929, #49254 and 05032 All rights reserved.