The widow of Zarephath is down to her last bit of meal and oil when Elijah shows up. He sees her gathering sticks for her fire and calls out for water and bread. He performs a miracle and she has enough meal and oil to last the drought.
One of our most basic needs is food, but ask yourself what is your most basic faith need and what holds it together. You’re going to make your own faith cakes to offer to God.
1. What is the most important thing about your faith to you? What could you not survive without? For some this may be reading the Bible, for some singing. Put 1 1/2 cups of flour in a bowl to symbolize this – you might even play with the flour while you try to decide.
2. How do you make sure your most basic need is fulfilled? Think about how it makes you feel while you add 1/2 salt to the flour. Mix them well as you create your meal.
3. Slowly add 1/2 cup water to your meal and knead it while thinking about how to visualize your faith. Keep working it until you get a smooth texture.
4. Shape your symbol and then bake at 200° for 2 hours. Put your symbol where it will remind you to care for your most basic faith need everyday.
Often we are asked to praise God for things that may seem vague to us, but this week’s psalm includes ways that are concrete, which are pulled out in the text art. Add other ways you see God acting in the world. Ask yourself if it’s possible for God to do this without your assistance.
The Pauline letters in the Bible were often written in response to letters from churches that were experiencing problems. Read this week’s section of the letter paying attention to Paul’s frustration as he states something and then has to back pedal.
Think of a time when out of frustration or anger you have spoken improperly. What do you need to do to heal any pain you may have caused? Write out a letter so you can organize your thought before you try to make things right.
The second half of 1 Kings 17 and the gospel both feature prophets (Elijah and Jesus) raising the only son of widows from the dead. In those societies, the only way a woman could ensure her future was with a son to care for her in her old age so raising the son was not just about her grieving but about her welfare. This is one of those passages where parents who have lost a child might ask why God did not feel compassion for them and keep their child alive. Remember to hold them in your prayers.