1 Kings 19:9-18; Ephesians 4:17-32; John 6:15-27
From the Reformer
For preaching and faith must cease, and the veil must be removed, so that we will be eternally blessed with the dear angels in the vision of God, which we possess here only in hearing and faith. Therefore, this kingdom of the Word and faith will become another kingdom, where we will no longer hear and believe, but rather see God the Father and Christ before our eyes, just as Christ says in Matthew 18 [:10] that now the dear angels in heaven constantly behold the face of God. But at present we must allow our eyes to be blinded and must be led and guided only by faith and the Word. And yet all those who are baptized and believe that God’s Son became a human being like us are already in the kingdom of heaven.
—Martin Luther, Sermon on the Festival of St. Michael and All Angels
Pulling It Together
Sometimes we do not feel like continuing in the Church because we are worn out and God does not seem present—at least not in an obvious, tangible way. Like Elijah and Moses before him, we want a theophany; we wish God would appear and make everything better. More often than not, we will not get what we want, and may only glimpse the hinder parts of the Almighty. (Exod 33:18-22)
We not only desire to see God, we want to hear him loudly and clearly, but like Elijah, we must learn to listen for a quieter voice. The whisper of God symbolizes the opposite of what enthralls so many: being captivated by loud promises of prosperity and health (John 6:26). But the low whisper of God is the quiet promise found in the word of God. When the signs of a robust congregation have left, and the fire of ministry is gone, and we are running on empty, God is present to renew us in the spirit of our minds. (Eph 4:23)
Prayer: Lord, help me depend your word instead of upon the things I do and see. Amen.