PENTECOST 23 - 1 Kings 18:17-40; Mark 9:2-13.

Successive kings of the northern kingdom of Israel followed the example of their first king, Jeroboam, who introduced image worship, appointed his own priests, and established his own religious festivals. They are remembered for doing evil in the sight of Yahweh and causing Israel to sin. Following the example of their leaders, the people forsook Yahweh to follow foreign gods, only being called back to Yahweh after a grand showdown on Mount Carmel between the prophets of Baal and Elijah, the prophet of Yahweh. Reverend Margaret asks us to consider what example we are setting for those around us and those who will come after us. Is it the example we want to be setting? As leaders in workplaces, schools, and families, we can lead people away from God when we ourselves depart from living according to Jesus’s commands. Alternatively, we can display the love of God that we have experienced in Christ, leaving behind us a legacy of faithfulness that people can emulate.