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Scripture Reading: 2Kings 4: 42-44 A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

Scripture Reading: 1Kings 17: 1; 7-24 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.  Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath.  When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”  “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”  Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”  She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.  Sometime later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill.  He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”  “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”  The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”  Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

This spring the UCC is talking and sharing all about being green…being environmentally just…being good stewards of our resources. Finding ways to think outside the box for the environment.  Some of us are looking for new things to do with old things. Rather than putting the old in a bag and throwing it into the landfills,

Explain A few months ago we talked about how we can trust God to give us an overabundance…even in our leftovers which take us through our times of famine.  We talked about the words in our culture that mean beautiful burnt rice at the bottom of the pot. That perfect sticky, chewy burnt substance that some of us fight for and have grown to love. That excess that is derived from the imperfect cooking of a traditional meal.  As we talked about that sticky goodness, we found some of our cultural names for it:

  • Puerto Rico: Pega’o
  • Dominican Republic: Concon
  • Cuba: Raspao

Feed Me As we talked about it we realized that GOD really does supply.  And we walked away with a renewed spirit of joy. That GOD will give us more than enough to see us through to the next level. To our next meal. To our next life altering fix.

I’d like us to read the Bible verses once more together.  Let’s start with 2Kings 4: 42-44

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

Today This passage is very reminiscent of those New Testament passages, where Jesus took 2 loaves of fish and used them to feed he multitudes with leftovers-left for days!  But I’d like you to ask you a question…

What leftovers are you sharing with your people? Your family? Your friends?  What are we sharing with them that will feed their spirit today, and will have residual affects and leftovers to see them through to the next level?

Have you looked around your community lately…have you looked in your house? We have become a wasteful society. Everything has an expiration date. We buy chives today, and unlike the generations that came before, that ate some and saved the trash to make a new meal, we through away the scraps and wonder why we never have enough. Why we are always lacking. Why we are always broke…

And thats the gospel we share with our peoples… We tell them about a God that multiplies and a God that makes great miracles, but we forget about the God that shows us such an overabundance on the regular days, that theres residual affects for the miracles we need past the famine.  See, the same way we deal with our kitchen scraps is the way we deal with other things in God’s kingdom.  Remember, Gods kingdom includes everything and everyone.

And Tomorrow Let us read, 1Kings 17: 1; 7-17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.  Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath.

When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”  “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”  Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”  She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

See Elijah was doing the introduction. Here was a man (yeah we who know him know he was a great man and a prophet and a God worker) but he was JUST a man to her. He told her about a God that could provide during a drought. That could feed her physical needs. And the reality is that this was NOT the miracle… This was NOT the overabundance… This was just the introduction to a God that COULD provide even when everything we know and everything we see says there is not enough to provide from.

Don’t be Stingy When was the last time that you introduced people to God, really introduced him to God by your walk, by your story? Our friends need to meet that powerful God that provides in their daily lives, before they can call out to him in their emergency…  They need to meet the God that forgives, the God that provides so when its time for a REAL MIRACLE they have already met the God who can take them through it.

Stop being stingy in your sharing…

Their cup runneth over

Atrevete en lo chiquito, y lo grande tambien sera tuyo (thats how I understand the word).

Now lets keep reading us read, 1Kings 17: 18-24

Sometime later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill.  He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”  “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”  The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”  Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

Here we finally see the woman’s miracle…her son is alive and she can now see that the God Elijah talked about with his mouth is real.  Share that!

Conclusion That the words of our mouths and the God in our hearts be real to those around us!  But see it’s in the details, don’t be stingy!!!  God provides today AND tomorrow, share today so someone else can share tomorrow.

Let’ s take this week to think outside the box. Let’s take the God we know and introduce him to the people we come across. There’s a Jay Z song that starts, ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF, my name is Hov!!!

Reintroduce those you come in contact with to the God they might have met before…the God they heard about in Sunday school that they walked away from cause they couldn’t be “good enough” for.

  • •We that are believers are God’s emissaries here, ACT LIKE IT!
  • •Be genuine
  • •Smile and be kind

Keep this in mind,

  • Puerto Rico: Pega’o
  • Dominican Republic: Concon
  • Cuba: Raspao

Someone taught you that it tasted good, there’s a reason we know what good concon is and what not so good raspao taste like.  Somebody introduced you to it… But its not just us who know it.

  • Persia: Tah-dig
  • Korea: Noo-roong-ji
  • Haiti: Gratin

Let us pray, Ask God for the strength be genuine in our welcome.  Of all Gods people!

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