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SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER 2017
The Old Testament is full of people - real people; whose lives are messy, their families dysfunctional and their obedience not always full or immediate, yet God used them. Our study of their lives is to bring perspective, hope and instruction to ours - to recognise that at times we are tempted to sanitise or selectively interact with their stories and in that way make them heroes. The reality is that their stories are powerful because they are human like us and face the same temptations and frailty that we do - yet God used them.
I remember the story of Elijah from Sunday School, and as a kid you heard these amazing things that God did through Elijah. He's almost portrayed as a Christian Superman and unfortunately that's usually where the story ends. It's not made obvious that the central figure of the story isn't actually Elijah but God.
Through all the books of the Old Testament, the main purpose of all the stories, poems and historical narratives is to make God known. And because God can be known we are able to be in relationship with Him.
In our western culture of individualism knowledge is highly prized. Especially these days, if you want to know something you just Google it. But our relentless individualism can be a weakness. We are keen to pursue knowledge but sometimes we are too busy to pursue understanding, because understanding is often acquired through community. Together as a community we share our experiences and learning of God - it's not supposed to be an individual journey, we are supposed to be doing this faith walk together...
Here are Trevor's thoughts on his study into Elijah's story.