The first book of Kings, chapter 21, tells the story of how King Ahab covets his neighbour’s vinyard; ideally situated next to the palace, fertile and productive. Ahab wants to grow vegetables there. He offers Naboth, the owner, a fair price. Naboth refuses. It is his family inheritance, he says, so he will not sell. Ahab sulks. Jezebel, the queen, “fixes it” for him by framing Naboth and having him judicially murdered by the state. Ahab then steals the vinyard for his own ends.
But God sees. The prophet Elijah confronts the King with God’s judgement on his greed and wickedness, prophesying the destruction of Ahab’s family (inheritance) in the same way as he himself had destroyed Naboth’s line. “The dogs will lick your blood in the very same place.”
The one thing often overlooked by those in power is in the critical verse 17: “then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite…”.
God’s word is not silent in these days of madness; it has been heard in Twitter clips from the streets of Kyev; from a woman handing sunflower seeds to invading soldiers as she lectures them; in tearful Russian voices on the streets of Moscow crying “but these are our brothers, our sisters, our mothers…”; in text messages from Russian soldiers “Mama, this is so hard”; and in the vision of self determination from an independent people who know their heritage and who will neither sell it nor have it taken from them.
Worship Services for Sunday 6th March
9.30am Family Worship at St John’s Stoke Row with Mr Peter Ferguson
11am Morning Prayer at Checkendon Church with Revd Kevin Davies. A prayer book service, with hymns, a sermon and coffee.
Other service options for elsewhere in the Team can be found on the Langtree Team Ministry Churches website. There’s no Sunday evening online service during Lent, as our daily reflections have begun:
The online Lent Journey: 8.30-8.40pm begins Thursday and then daily on zoom: 842 3891 2144 and 123165
“Forty Words” is our ten minute daily online reflection for Lent 2022, hosted by Revd Kevin and Revd John. A word from Scripture, a reflection, music and prayer between 8.30-8.40pm every day. You can join the pilgrimage using zoom numbers 842 3891 2144 and 123165. Do make a note of them in your diary. Everyone is welcome, wherever you are Come every day, or drop in when you can.
Ash Wednesday Team Service, 2nd March.
Do join us, tomorrow, 7.30pm, at St John’s Whitchurch Hill for our shared service of Holy Communion, with imposition of ashes. It seems appropriate to begin the season of penitence with lament for the wickedness of the human heart. The celebrant will be the Revd James Leach. There is plenty of parking opposite the church.
May the Lord bless you, and keep you always in his love.