Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied, and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ I Kings 17. 13, 14
The press is currently full of stories of the worst-case scenarios about running out of meat, due to the rising costs of natural gas and the knock-on effects on CO2 production which is used in food processing and packaging. It seems like a different reason but the same rallying call to panic, that we have seen time and time again during this pandemic and indeed on other occasions during our lives. I remember during the gulf war we were told that single use plastics would be unobtainable due to the loss of oil production, and we would have to go back to sterilising glass in the laboratory. The question that comes to mind is – Was this a potential disaster or a wake-up call of things to come?
The threat of any sort of shortage gives us the opportunity to question whether we really need as much of the item as we currently use. It may well be that the way to ensure that no one goes hungry is to reduce the level of choice that we have on our supermarket shelves. The story set for today reminds us that we can live and indeed thrive on a relatively simple diet for a long time. The widow that Elijah encounters makes him a little cake with just olive oil and flour. Not just once but time and time again as the Lord fulfils his promise that her jar of meal and her jug of oil will not run out until better times come.
Bread is such an important and universal staple in our diets. Different cultures use different grains to grind into flour. Different cultures use different liquids to bind the flour together into different shapes, with and without yeast. It is no wonder that Jesus uses bread as the symbol of his universal presence with us. He declares that he is ‘The Bread of Life’. The one constant staple that we need to survive through whatever trials we are faced with in life. The Word of God who speaks peace and comfort, reducing our fears, calmly guiding us through challenging times.
But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4. 4
With all my love and prayers