1 Kings 17:8-16
The economic supply and demand curve is driven by scarcity. A scarcer good is more valuable. Conversely, value decreases as goods become more abundant. Even if we are not economists, this ideology dominates our world view. In our daily lives we behave as people of scarcity.
This widow has scarce resources. She values them highly because they will be just enough so she and her son might enjoy a meager meal before they die. Even at the moment of complete despair, she hesitates to share because, in her mind, what she has isn't enough.
Yet when shared with a hungry stranger that scarce resource becomes abundant. The prophet's words come crashing into our dominant worldview. "Do not be afraid!" Do not allow fear and scarcity to control your life or the life of your family, church, or community. In God's economy there is enough. When we like the widow overcome fear and share the little we have we are recognizing the one who created those things. We recognize that God, our maker, has already provided valued abundance.
God of Abundance, turn our hearts from scarcity and fear. Help us overcome our reliance on the things that you have made and turn instead to you, the abundant maker. Urge us to share what we have, so all may have enough. For we have all we need in your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 Kings 17:8-16 (NRSV)
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
9 "Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you."
10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink."
11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand."
12 But she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die."
13 Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son.
14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth."
15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days.
16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.