Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jesse Tree - Day 15: Elijah

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic CultureLoyola PressFaith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

Day 15: Elijah

Symbols: stone altar

Elijah and the priests of Baal
We all have a few vague pictures of Elijah. For one thing, he shows up during Christ's transfiguration so we should pay a bit of attention when he comes up in the Jesse Tree. Usually it is because he stands up for God before the priests of Ba'al and wins hands-down (for God is on his side). It is a spectacular showdown and if you aren't familiar with it, I encourage you to read about it.

Some may think of the ravens feeding him in the wilderness. I myself always remember the pagan woman whose grain and oil never ran out, even though there was a famine, because Elijah was boarding with her. And whose son he raised from the dead.

The Elijah story that speaks to my heart most, though, is one that I suspect we all relate to. Elijah is on the run from the Israelite leaders who want to kill him. He is weary and heart-sick and wants to give up. And God comes to speak to him.
And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
We've all looked for a big sign and wound up with a still, small voice, haven't we? And I think we've all had times when we've been "done" and wanted to curl up in a cave. Elijah performed God's miracles but in the details of his life he is more like us than we might think.

Elijah raises the widow's son, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1851-60

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