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From the Religious Education Faculty

As our lives seem distant and disjointed, we remember that God is always close and in this divine closeness we are one no matter where we sit.

We are living through a period of deep disruption, chaos and anxiety. The things and people we hold most dear have been separated from us and the normal order of life has been utterly upended. The prophet Elijah was in a similar place. Rejected by his people, chased by his government, he was the last prophet in the land of Israel. Lonely and afraid, disconnected and heartbroken, Elijah waits for God.

God does not arrive in wind. God does not arrive in an earthquake. God does not arrive in a fire. The creator of all that is and was and is to come, is present in the gentle whisper.

God is in the gentle whisper. Though the wind rages, the earth shakes and fire scorches all we see, God will be there, close enough to whisper peace to our weary hearts.

As we navigate this pandemic, may we remember the absolute tenderness and perpetual closeness of God. In all the chaos and fear, God is always close enough that we can hear the divine whisper in our hearts.

God of silence and stillness, we trust you are with us in this time of noise and chaos. We pray for an end to this pandemic. Whisper your words of comfort, encouragement and hope to all during this Christmas season.

Poem by Kitty O’Meara – Relevant to Today’s Times

And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and stopped
and listened deeper

someone meditated
someone prayed
someone danced
someone met their shadow

and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal

and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.

A reading from the first book of Kings.

“And the word of the LORD came to [Elijah]: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’ The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'” (1 Kings 19, NIV).