Liturgy

I’ll Tell You Where God Is – 1 Kings 19:9-13; Mark 6:45-52

By David V. Goodwin

Character 1

So there was this time when the prophet of Adonai, Eliyahu.

Character 2

Elijah

Character 1

Eliyahu, fled to the mountain of Horev. He shacked up in a cave. There wasn’t Netflix or anything; it was just a lot of staring into the dark gaping hole beyond the light. At one point, he played a game with himself: how far can I go without stubbing my toe. He didn’t get very far. When he got tired, he used a rock for a pillow, and as the night settled in, he listened to the noises in the valleys and waited for King Ach’av to come kill him.  

Character 2

“What are you doing here?”

Character 1

The voice was God’s. Eliyahu sat up.

Character 2

“What are you doing here, Eliyahu?”

Character 1

What was he supposed to do? He shrugged and said,

“What do you mean, what am I doing here? I was so dedicated to you I’ve barely survived your people breaking up your stuff, tearing down your altars, and killing your prophets. I’m all you have left, and at this rate, I’m not going to last that much longer.”

Character 2

“Get out of that cave,”

Character 1

Came the voice’s reply.

Character 2

And Jesus sent his disciples ahead of him on a boat, to cross the sea of Galilee. They cast off from shore, their boat nearly at capacity. It had been a long day, and there was an argument about who had to row this time. When two begrudging oar men were chosen, they set off into the inky water. They barely noticed the stars above them going behind the clouds, two by two.

Character 1

So Eliyahu climbed to the mouth of the cave, squinting and stiff. The air was drier and felt as open as the land before him. There was a noise coming, cutting through the lesser quiet of the surface. It was Adonai, moving past.  

Boom! This wind followed that tore up the mountains and smashed boulders into pebbles.

[points into the sky:] “It’s the wind!”

Character 2

Cried one of the disciples.

“What do you mean the wind?” scoffed another. “You’re just not rowing hard enough.”

But there was a wind. It was sending spray into the boat, waking the disciples who had fallen asleep.

Character 1

Eliyahu looked and looked, but he realized that Adonai was not in the wind.

Perhaps if he had looked harder, but his search was suddenly cut short. The earth itself was trembling. A mighty earthquake struck across the stones and soil, shaking the mountains at their roots, tearing up trees and widening new valleys.

Character 2

The nose of their vessel fell forward, down into the trough of a wave.

Character 1

“It’s that wind!”

Character 2

“Wind doesn’t make waves like these, Thaddaeus!”

They weren’t the worst waves Peter had ever seen, but they still scared him. He took an oar from Bartholomew and shouted directions to Philip as they cut their way across the rolling waters.

Character 1

Eliyahu looked and looked, but he realized that Adonai was not in earthquake.

No sooner had the ground settled then from it rose great pillars of smoke. Eliyahu swallowed and slowly stepped backward into his cave. A fire was springing across the land. It consumed the trees and the plants and darkened the sky with its ash.

“I can’t see a thing!”

Character 2

“Thaddaeus! Shut up!”

They were rowing hard but it was though the boat were anchored. Peter knew it was the current. They dared not give in to it, not in these waves. None of them were ready to die.

Character 1

“Oh my god!”

Character 2

“Thaddaeus, I swear!”

But then even he saw it and began to scream. There was a ghost coming over the water.

Character 1

Silence. A new light had struck mouth of the cave. It was as warm as the fire, but Eliyahu knew what it was. He crawled out to see the rising sun. Only now there was a great silence. The mountain had changed. It was covered in a rounded black stone. The smell was awful, like old rotten eggs, but there was a silence.

“Do not be afraid!”

Character 2

A silence overtook the boat. A man was walking on the water. He walked through the current, but he was not the current. He walked on the waves, but he was not the waves. He walked against the wind, but he was not the wind. When he touched the boat, the waves and the current released it. When he gently asked the wind to cease, it did.

Character 1

Eliyahu covered his head in fear.

Adonai was present.

“Eliyahu,” said God in the sound of still air, and a rising sun, and cooling lava,

“What are you doing here?”