“When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord indeed is God; the Lord indeed is God.” 1 Kings 18:39
Sometimes a group of people experience something together and the result is a deepened sense of faith that God is at work among them. These experiences create a bond among the people that is deep and powerful. It can be life changing. It is certainly something they will keep with them for a long time.
This is part of what it means to be in community. We travel together through life. Each step of the way, we deal with life’s twists and turns. We encounter things that threaten to harm us. But the love that God has for us sustains us and we find ourselves discovering that in the hardest times in life, God is there for us in ways we did not expect or understand until we go through this together.
In the text above, Elijah is being tested by people who worship another God (whose name is “Baal”). The encounter leads to a contest and wondering whether Baal or the God of Israel is stronger. Elijah taunts his opponents as they try to prove that Baal is the stronger, but their attempts are futile. The Elijah acts to call upon the God of Israel – who demonstrates incredible power as everyone watches in amazement. The result was the verse above as everyone cries out, “The Lord indeed is God!”
One of the most important part of being part of a faith community is the chance to share experiences of God together. In the process, our shared experiences strengthen our collective faith and our individual faith as well. While our culture emphasizes individual experiences, our hearts long for others to share the journey with us. When we find such people and experience such things, the ways we see God act may amaze us all.