Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Barbeque/Cookout (09/06/12)
TITLE: Against the Grain
By Stanley McMahon
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The Gibilmanna Park has a number of brick-built barbeques at the disposal of the hungry public, who pass through some breathtaking scenery, overlooking the Mediterranean sea. On that bracing day, with the sun high in the January sky, we built two barbeques, side by side; one to keep us warm and the other to cook the food.
It reminded me of another mountain where two barbeques were made, but for very different purposes. The scene was still in the Mediterranean, but much further east and millennia of years ago. Similar in height above sea level, Mt Carmel was host to two groups, one led by the prophet Elijah and the other by the prophets of Baal.
The first one didn’t even get lit, while the second shouldn’t have burnt at all, given the amount of water it had been doused in. The point was that the god who answered by fire, was the one to be worshipped. Elijah’s confidence was repaid when the water in the trough around the altar was consumed as well as the offering itself. The rest is history.
Yahweh, the Lord God, revealed Himself to the people of Israel and to the prophets of Baal as the God who answers by fire. Later in Elijah’s experience, he found the Lord to be the God who speaks in a still, small voice.
As we stood on the mountain that day in 1999, we were aware of the God of creation who delights to give us rest, who constantly amazes us with the unspeakable beauty of His creation, but Who demands our worship and reminds us through His creation, that our God is awesome in holiness and that His fire burns in our hearts and bids us fall before Him.
As we continued on our journey to other sites of historic and cultural importance on the island of Sicily, we were warmed by the heaters in the car – it really was a cold day – but also by the fact that we could enjoy the spontaneous choices of people who are willing to do something different and go against the grain!
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