The story of the Widow of Zarephath, found in 1 Kings 17, is a biblical story that speaks to me. In Old Testament theology, the widow belongs to a marginalized group God calls people of faith to offer special care. Yet, here in this story, Elijah, one of the greatest Old Testament prophets, seeks care from the widow. In fact, he demands it. The stage is now set for his conversation with the widow in 1 Kings 17.
Twice within that conversation, the widow confronts the prophet whom the widow says, “speaks the truth.” And, that’s why this story speaks to me: the truth can be confronted. It is in this confrontation, further truth is revealed, even a resurrection (1 Kings 17.22).
This afternoon, the General Conference is set to pass what it believes is the truth. Yet, on the conference floor, the widow has been speaking and confronting. Oh, not literally. But those who have been marginalized by the truth, the church is poised to make law, are standing up and confronting the truth.
Now you know why the story of the Widow of Zarephath speaks to me. The truth can be confronted as the truth is revealed and something new emerges. Even as I write, the truth is being revealed.
Here’s an aside: yesterday, I left the convention center to run an errand. Outside the center, the streets were empty except for me and another man walking in my direction. He was carrying a cup of coffee. It was the Bishop of the Great Plains Annual Conference, my bishop, Ruben Saenz. “Bishop,” I said, “What are you doing out here?” He needed some coffee. Duh. And, then the conversation unfolded: “How’s it going for you?” he asked. I told the Bishop I’ve had better days. We talked for a moment. I am not usually a weepy person. I was then. He then prayed for me and we ended the conversation talking about basketball. I saw the bishop in a different way. And, it got me thinking about a biblical story that speaks to me.
One more blog! See you tomorrow. Thanks for reading and all the signs of support I am receiving. You are my beloved community of faith and I am a little weepy now. Let’s get back to basketball and worship on Sunday.