My Beloved Brethren and Blessed Children in the Lord,
Christ is in our midst!
It seems fitting today to say a few words about the Prophet Elijah and the still small voice of God in our lives.
The Prophet Elijah, whose memory we celebrate today, lived in tumultuous times. The people of Israel had rejected God and turned to idols, and their reigning government violently persecuted the Holy Prophet. Fleeing to the desert to seek refuge, the Lord asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah responded: “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” In response, the Lord commanded Elijah to stand on the mountain before Him. After showing the prophet a great wind, a mighty earthquake, and fire, God finally spoke to Elijah in “a still, small voice.”
Through this account, the example is given to us of how we, as the Body of Christ, should reveal God to the world through our words. When we perceive that our society has reverted from Christianity to idolatry, and when we sense that some levels of government in our society are treating Christians unfairly, our task as the Church is not to manifest God through tempestuous outrage, earth-quaking tirades, or emotionally-fired speech. Neither, as Elijah was tempted to do, should we give in to self-pitying or defeatism. Rather, as the Church it is our task to manifest God’s presence through a still, small voice.
God’s still small voice is not condescending, it is not insulting, it does not seek to harm. It is not profane, rude, or violent.
Rather, God’s still small voice is still, because it is balanced and considerate. It is small, because it is humble and often rejected.
But it is nevertheless a voice! And indeed, when we have words to say that glorify God and manifest Truth to the world, then indeed, we should open our mouth, and the Spirit will inspire us to be the heralds of God’s love.
Engaging with one another by remote and online means more than ever in these months, in the midst of forceful and loud storms in society, let us first allow the Lord to speak to us in a still small voice, through engaging with Him in prayer, silence, and contemplation. Then, let us allow Him to speak through us, through whatever physical or media means we are using, to be the vehicles of His still small voice. Through the use of kind words, through the use of considerate speech, through the use of reason - logos - rather than emotion, we fulfill our role as Christ’s Church to be God’s voice.
The Church will always be “small” in the world’s eyes; appearing foolish or irrelevant. Yet we know the truth hidden to the world: Our Church’s authentic voice is the most rational and true voice in the world. This paradox exists because our wisdom does not belong to the world, as Saint Paul says: “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God” (1 Corinithians 3:18-19). Our wisdom is found in the paradox of Christ on the Cross: His death appeared foolish, it appeared irrelevant, but in reality, it was the most important historical event that has ever happened. It ushered in the new Creation, bringing about the Resurrection of all. His death and resurrection, indeed, are the vivid manifestation of God’s still small voice: by appearances small and despised, but in reality, Truth and Life-giving.
So, let us follow the Divine command, and “be still, and know that I Am God” (Psalm 45/46:10). And by our living as still and small men and women of prayer in the midst of the tumults of the world, our great and mighty Lord will paradoxically be manifested to the world through us.
May the Holy Prophet Elijah intercede for us so that we might all humbly transmit the still small voice of our almighty, all-powerful, and all-loving God so that the world might come to know He Who Is.