A couple of evenings ago, Helen and I found ourselves walking down the local high street. There were plenty of people around, but we felt a touch self conscious and vulnerable, so much so, that we kept down the volume of our conversation, so as not to draw attention to ourselves. The reason? Well, simply that our usual chirpy northern tones could have been deemed a bit out of place. For the street we were walking down was local not to Manchester but to Glasgow: Argyle Street in Scotland, where we could have been viewed as cocky Midlanders (or even worse - Southerners!!). We were outnumbered, in strange territory, which for a while felt a bit uncomfortable.
In our latest dip into 1Kings last Sunday, we heard in Matthew’s sermon how Elijah, God’s prophet, equally could have been forgiven fo feeling bit out of place. He was away from home, confronting the weakened King Ahab, who had re-introduced cultish practices in the land. What’s more whilst Elihah was just one, he was seriously outnumbered by 450 prophets of Baal that King Ahab’s wife Jezebel had employed. Nevertheless, perhaps emboldened and reassured by his previous experiences of God’s provision, Elijah challenged these so called prophets to a show down, to establish whether Baal, or Yahweh was the true God. As we know, Elijah triumphed, with Yahweh again acting mightily.
And indeed, though we may sometimes be daunted by feelings of isolation or that we are in the minority, with God by our side wherever we find ourselves, we are always in the majority. As we reflected the previous Sunday there are no No Go areas for God.
May we through the rest of this week, be assured of God’s presence and protection.