Reading: 1 Kings 18: 20-39
What a contrast we have in today’s story. One team builds their altar and places the sacrifice on it. They dance about the sacrifice, they pray and shout to their god. Then they resort to cutting themselves and crying out more urgently to gain their god’s attention. Their god does not answer. Their god does not satisfy their pleas. All is done in vain.
We scrape together our dollars to buy a bigger house or a fancier car. We work late every day as the announcement date for who will be promoted or made partner draws near. We show up early with our neatly dressed little family and sit in the front pew so everyone can see we are there again this Sunday.
Then the other team steps to center stage. But instead of a team of 450 it is a one man show. He builds the altar and places the sacrifice on it. The audience has seen this show before. But then he digs a big trench around that altar. Interest rises. Then he has people dump bucket after bucket of water on the sacrifice and altar. The trench fills with water. The audience slides up to the edges of their seats. Then he simply asks for his god to make it known that He is the Lord God, the one and only true God. He trusts that God will answer. He knows this God. And fire falls from heaven and consumes it all – the sacrifice, the wood, the altar stones, the water. The fire of God consumes everything.
Maybe the house is a little small but we are comfortable. Maybe the car isn’t shiny and new anymore but it runs well and is reliable. Maybe that project can get done tomorrow. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Maybe we could trust this God with all we have. Maybe He really is able to do all things. Maybe He loves us unconditionally. When we pursue and place our trust in the one true Lord of life, then the gods of this world have no sway in our lives. When we seek first the things of God, we do not have any desires left for the things of this world for His fire consumes us. Consume us today, O Lord our God.