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Poor Elijah. He’s had quite a week. One minute he’s staging a spectacular god-smackdown on Mt. Carmel, calling down fire from heaven, condemning idolatry, slaughtering the priests of Baal. The next minute, he’s running a marathon trying to beat a rainstorm. Then he’s fleeing to the desert to evade a ruthless queen’s death threats. No wonder he finally lays down under a broom tree and tells God, “I’ve had enough.”
God understands, though, that sometimes in a crisis, the smallest things make the biggest difference. So a ministering angel shows up with a little hotcake and some water. After a good nap, another dose of angel-cake, and a little more encouragement, Elijah is ready to move on again. He has deeper encounters with God yet to come.
I Kings 19 says nothing about the angel bringing Elijah any reading material to pass the time while he rests in the desert, but I bet if Elijah had a cell phone and could get service, he would want to scroll through a daily blog featuring short essays reminding him that, as he tried to figure out how to serve God in a confusing world, he was not alone.
You see where I’m going with this. Chances are you don’t spend your days defying the priests of Baal or fleeing from evil tyrants—at least not literally. But we do live in a confusing world, and we do get exhausted, and we do need to strengthen one another in discernment, to encourage one another toward deeper encounters with God.
That’s why I’m grateful for The Twelve blog, which is one important space where Reformed writers try to speak out of faithful Christian practice and principled thought, to speak with humor and wisdom, to blend prophetic fervor with regular good sense. The community we’ve built is so important.
None of us need despair, as Elijah did in his worst moments, that he was all alone. Here we have a community of readers and writers who share a profound trust that God is redeeming the world—through us and despite us.
We have just completed eight full years of daily posts. That’s almost 3000 essays, by dozens of writers. Every day, we ponder and muse and challenge and joke and lament and consider, inviting our readers to join us in the daily work of faithful discipleship. Those of us who write for The Twelve hope that our readers can depend, every day, on finding a little nourishing sustenance here.
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