Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 18:Year 1
“Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you:” (1st Kings 17:9)
As we read this passage, we will see that the widow didn’t get the memo. Ravens had just fed Elijah and when the famine hit, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath in Sidon where, God says “I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” But upon arrival, Elijah encounters a widow who seems to know nothing about feeding him. She is caught up in her own misery. She is on her last parcel of food. She has a son. She is preparing for her and her son the have their last meal and die. Maybe this is God’s divine way of answering prayer with prayer.
I do believe that when God sends us to people, God creates a place in that person to receive us. Albeit it is sometimes hard to get to, or to have the person realize it. There are many “sent to” stories in the Bible. Most fulfill God’s plan. Some have to become a hard lesson such as Moses going to Pharaoh in Exodus. But in the end, God always wins.
In the same way, when God sends someone to us, God creates a place in us to receive that person. But we might be like the widow in our passage for today. We might be so burdened with our own personal problems that we don’t see God’s bigger plan. We don’t see how God is working within humanity for the benefit of humanity. These are times of just letting go and letting God.
The widow finally felt the love that Elijah had for her and her household. So she relented and included him in what she thought was their last meal. It was a meal that was multiplied over and over again. Our Lord Jesus will do the same thing at the feeding of the multitude with only two fish and five loaves. These feeding stories are about listening to the Holy Spirit and discerning the will of God in our lives. God loves us and wants the best for us.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John