Do you want to get someone’s attention? If you find yourself in a noisy room, you might think that you need to yell to be heard, but that may just only add to the noise in the room! Growing up I had one teacher who had an even better approach. If the classroom was getting too noisy, instead of yelling over the class, to get everyone’s attention, she would simply speak in a quiet, gentle voice, even a whisper. It didn’t take long before the entire classroom was quiet, listening attentively to the still small voice of our teacher. Sometimes using a quiet voice is better than yelling! Don’t believe me? Try whispering into the ear of someone that you love and see if you get their attention!
There is an account in the Bible (1 Kings 19), where God is trying to get Elijah’s attention. Elijah is distracted and scared because Queen Jezebel is trying to kill him! Elijah runs away and goes into hiding! God comes to Elijah and tells him to “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord!”
Elijah has an encounter with God that is full of smashing and crashing! If this scene from the Bible were made into an IMAX movie, the special effects would be awesome! Wind breaking rocks to pieces. An earthquake ripping apart a mountain and a fire destroying what was left, and yet, God was NOT in any of this. God was NOT in the earth, wind or fire, God would come to Elijah and get his attention with a still, small voice. A gentle whisper…
Elijah started whining to God. Elijah thinks that He is the only faithful person left in all of Israel! God is not having any of it! God crashes Elijah’s “pity party” and tells Elijah that there are still 7,000 people who are still faithful. God basically tells Elijah to stop whining and get to work! God has work for Elijah to do!
Sometimes God works in a similar way in our lives as well. Like Elijah, maybe you have found yourself whining and complaining to God too. “Why did this bad thing happen to me? God where are you in my life? I feel all alone! Woe is me!” You may be looking for God to show up in a spectacular way in your life, and indeed, sometimes God chooses to show up in a burning bush or a flash of lighting, but there are times when God chooses to show up in a subtler way. Sometimes God works in our life in a similar way…
Like when God came in the form of a baby. When the Son of God presented himself as a quiet, gentle, infant, born in a manger, unexpected almost undetectable, but God was present. Then Jesus showed Himself again on the wood of the cross with the pain of the nails and the suffering of the thorns. Jesus was in the blood and the sweat and the tears unexpected, undetectable, unrecognizable.
And today God reveals Himself again to us in a quiet, calm gentle whisper of a way. In His word, written, spoken, listened to. God comes to us today in the gentle washing of water in Baptism with the promise of His word of forgiveness, unexpected, almost undetectable.
Today, we experience the special gift of God’s presence as Jesus comes to us in the form of bread and wine to bring us His true presence in His body and blood bringing us forgiveness. Apart from the Holy Spirit we would not recognize Jesus. Unexpected and almost undetectable except through the eyes of faith
Where is God? He is present with us today in His Word and in the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, quiet and unassuming like a gentle whisper…