19

June 2022

Jun

From Madness to Stillness

Living the Spirit Life

Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

This week, the theme is redirection. Whether we feature the Gerasene demoniac or the prophet Elijah, there is an invitation to reorient or refocus—from the multi-voiced madness to the single call of Christ, or from the wildness of nature and of personal despair to the silence or stillness of God at work in and through the prophet and through the church.

1 Kings 19:9b-15a, New International Reader's Version

The Lord Appears to Elijah

A message came to Elijah from the Lord. He said, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”

He replied, “Lord God who rules over all, I’ve been very committed to you. The Israelites have turned their backs on your covenant. They have torn down your altars. They’ve put your prophets to death with their swords. I’m the only one left. And they are trying to kill me.”

The Lord said, “Go out. Stand on the mountain in front of me. I am going to pass by.”

As the Lord approached, a very powerful wind tore the mountains apart. It broke up the rocks. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire came. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. And after the fire there was only a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his coat over his face. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”

He replied, “Lord God who rules over all, I’ve been very committed to you. The Israelites have turned their backs on your covenant. They have torn down your altars. They’ve put your prophets to death with their swords. I’m the only one left. And they are trying to kill me.”

The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came. Go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael as king over Aram.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Message:

Is it easier to hear someone’s voice when they speak loudly or whisper? (Allow children to answer and offer reasons.) Sometimes when we want someone to hear us, we must raise our voice or say our words very carefully, isn’t that correct? (Allow children to answer.)

Today’s scripture is about the voice of God and a man named Elijah. Do you think the voice of God would be loud or soft? (Allow children to answer.)

I am going to read from the Bible from 1 Kings. (Read the passage directly from the Bible. You may want to have the children help you find the chapter by asking questions, such as, ‘Old or New Testament?’)

What words did you hear that suggest loudness or softness? (Allow children to answer and expand on their answers. Reinforce words such as “committed,” “earthquake,” “powerful winds,” “mountain top,” and, of course, “whisper.”)

Let me ask you the same question again now that I have read this passage. Do you think the voice of God is loud or soft? (Allow children to respond. Note if any changed their answer from the first time you asked.)

What can we do to hear an important message? (Allow children to respond.) Sometimes we must be still and be quiet to hear something very important. Many times, in that stillness and quiet, our ears pick up every little sound. Our senses work even better! God had something very important to tell Elijah. God didn’t become loud and drown out all the other noises around Elijah. Instead, God was soft like a whisper, and God’s voice was loud and clear to Elijah.

Today, as I read the next part of our poem, let’s bow our heads and sit very quietly, because I will read it with a whisper. Help me with some rhyming words. Remember, at the end, we will all say “Amen” together.

Elijah, O’ Elijah, what do you do?
God O’ God, I’m devoted to you.
Go up on the mount way up tall
I will pass, and you will hear my call
Powerful winds blew and trees did shake
To the ground rocks fell, and the earth did _____. Ask the children if they can suggest a word that fits here and rhymes with “shake.” The word is “quake.”)
Then the flames flew aloft,
But Elijah heard through a whisper soft
Only then did Elijah hear
The whispered voice that God is near.
(collectively) AMEN!

In This Series...


Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Trinity Sunday, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Green

In This Series...


Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Trinity Sunday, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes