Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
Life is full of choices – some of them easy and of little consequence like, “What should we have for dinner?” But some of them are deeply serious and matter a lot. If we choose one option the outcome can be wonderful – pick the opposite and the results are devastating.
Elijah is confronting the people with a serious choice. If they believe that Baal (the God of the other tribes in the region) is better – they should place their trust in Baal. If not, then they should put their trust in the God of Israel. But for Elijah, this was not like watching a sporting event where you didn’t care which team wins. This was a real issue and the place you put your faith matters.
In our world, there are many places to place our trust and many things that claim to offer peace, joy, power, security and more. They tempt us all the time. All of them may have something to offer in the short-term but all of them pass away and fade eventually. Recognizing that God is the one who made us and who can be trusted, even beyond the grave, is ultimately the basis for meaningful a confident lives.
This coming weekend we celebrate All Saints Sunday. It is a day to remember those who have gone before us and to honor God’s faithfulness to them, even beyond death. These people, whose faith shaped our faith, have finished the journey here and gone beyond any place where the promises made by other sources can be kept – they have gone on to be with God.
As followers of Jesus, part of what our faith is grounded in is the promise of Jesus. He has gone into death itself. He has been raised from the dead. And he has promised that there is a place for us where he has gone. That hope reminds us why our faith in Christ is so important and so unique. That hope has given life to generations before us. That same hope promises life for us as well.