We see in the prophet Elijah many events that point to Jesus and his coming.
Today is the fourteenth day in our set of meditations inspired by Jesse Tree Advent Tradition. (To see previous days, click here.)
The concept comes from a passage in Isaiah, where the prophet says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Jesse is the father of King David, and Jesus was born into that same line of David through his foster-father’s (Joseph’s) ancestry.
Each day of December we will offer a brief Scripture passage and reflection, following God’s marvelous plan of salvation in the Jesse Tree tradition.
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” When they drew near to him, he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been destroyed. He took twelve stones, for the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the Lord had said: Israel shall be your name. He built the stones into an altar to the name of the Lord, and made a trench around the altar large enough for two measures of grain. When he had arranged the wood, he cut up the young bull and laid it on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it over the burnt offering and over the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he said, and they did it a third time. The water flowed around the altar; even the trench was filled with the water. At the time for offering sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came forward and said, “Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord! Answer me, that this people may know that you, Lord, are God and that you have turned their hearts back to you.” The Lord’s fire came down and devoured the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust, and lapped up the water in the trench. Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, “The Lord is God! The Lord is God!”(1 Kings 18:30-39)
Elijah also was persecuted as Jesus was persecuted. Jezebel the murderess persecuted Elijah; and the persecuting and murderous congregation persecuted Jesus. Elijah restrained the heavens from rain because of the sins of Israel; and Jesus by His coming restrained the Spirit from the prophets, because of the sins of the people. Elijah destroyed the servants of Baal; and Jesus trampled upon Satan and his hosts. Elijah raised to life the son of the widow; and Jesus raised to life the son of the widow, as well as Lazarus and the daughter of the ruler of the Synagogue. Elijah sustained the widow with a little bread; and Jesus satisfied thousands with a little bread. Elijah was taken up in a chariot to heaven; and our Redeemer ascended and took His seat on the right hand of His Father. Elisha received the spirit of Elijah; and Jesus breathed upon the faces of His Apostles.(Aphrahat, Demonstration 21, Of Persecution)
PrayerIncline a merciful ear to our cry, we pray, O Lord,
and, casting light on the darkness of our hearts,
visit us with the grace of your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
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