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This week, the Sunday School classes discussed how God instructed the prophet Elijah to hide by the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, where Elijah would drink from the brook and receive meat and bread delivered by ravens (1 Kings 17). After the brook dried up, God directed Elijah to go to Zarephath of Sidon where a famished, poverty-stricken widow would feed him, an act God made possible by having the widow’s jar of flour and jug of oil not run empty until the rains came. In turn, Elijah was in the widow’s home when her son became ill and stopped breathing. Elijah feared that his being in her home had brought tragedy to her, and cried out to God, praying that life would return to the son. The Lord revived the boy, which caused the widow to know that what Elijah spoke about God was the truth.
The lesson gave the children many ways to understand how God provides, each more unbelievable than the next: food delivered by ravens? Bottomless containers of ingredients? Revival of a boy who was sure to have died? What a blessing that our needs, the nuanced necessities of billions of us living in a vast creation, are perfectly met, albeit sometimes in ways we don’t immediately recognize or understand (is that a raven carrying a baguette?).
In the third grade class’s leaflet, the Bible Words section featured the book of Matthew’s description of how God provides: See how the lilies of the field grow. The do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘What shall we wear’…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:28-33).
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