Elijah – An Advent Study

In this extended Advent Study, we are reading through the stories of Elijah set forth in 1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 2. In Jewish thought, Elijah is seen as a foreshadowing of the Messiah and Elijah’s return was the harbinger of the eschatological Day of the Lord. See, Mal. 4:5, Matt. 17:10. Elijah is an example and a calling for our advent preparation. As background material, I will be using excerpts from Walter Brueggemann’s Testimony to Otherwise: The Witness of Elijah and Elisha and Daniel Matt’s Becoming Elijah: Prophet of Transformation. This Advent study is for four weeks.  

Elijah – An Introduction

The Elijah stories provide us with a wonderful follow-up to Tim Sorens’s book Everywhere You Look about how the church can form an alternative community in the world. The stories also provide us with another way of walking through and understanding Advent.
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Elijah – The Journey to Horeb (1 Kings 19), pt.2

The theophany on Horeb is a microcosm of Advent and Jesus’ ministry in general. In Advent we celebrate the coming of the day of the Lord, not with thunders and lightnings, whirlwinds and earthquakes, but as a baby born in a manger.
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Elijah – Naboth’s Vineyard (1 Kings 21)

Over the last several chapters, God has sought to refocus Elijah on the true reality of justice, love, and mercy, and not on defending himself and his beliefs using the name of God. In the story of Naboth, we finally see Elijah getting the point.
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Elijah – Assumption and Return (2 Kings 2)

Elijah never died, and therefore, he can return. The prophesies in Malachi, Sirach, and other parts of Jewish thought, proclaim that Elijah will return. Malachi says that the Law and Moses must be remembered, but that Elijah will be directly encountered.
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