Elijah finds a cave on Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God. He expects to find God there, but God does not appear in the power of the storm, nor in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire. Where do we go to find God? Do we keep returning to the same place, the place of our ancestors, the place of revered saints, hoping for God to make another appearance? How does God surprise us in new ways? In new places?
Elijah gets away to a cave on Mount Horeb. Jesus tries to get away from the crowds by taking a boat to a deserted place, but the crowds follow him to be healed, to be fed, and to receive his compassion. In these incidents of retreat, these two men encounter God’s power. This power empowers them, sustains them, and gives them the ability to discern and serve, and to do what needs to be done. How can these examples of God’s pervasive presence empower and sustain us in the never-ending tasks of ministry?
Homily Service: an ecumenical resource for sharing the word, vol. 41, no. 3 p. 154.
A graduate of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now united with Union Presbyterian Seminary) and San Francisco Theological Seminary, Beth Herrinton-Hodge is currently the director of after school programs for Shelby County Public Schools in Lexington, KY and operates her own business, Beth-writes, Inc., which provides technical writing, editing, grant writing, and curriculum development services.