When we chose the name “Elijah’s Inn”, we were thinking of Elijah’s stop on the way to Mount Horeb. It refers to that spot in the Negeb where an angel awakened him and fed him. One could of course also think of the brook Cherith, where Elijah hid away for a while and was fed by ravens. Or of the widow in Zarephath. However, the latter two offer a refuge more than a typical inn: a place to stay on a journey.
There is indeed another inn, later in the story. This assumes the collection of stories related to both Elijah and Elisha at the heart of the Book of Kings functions as a unit and make up one larger Elijah-and-Elishah narrative. This story could be fittingly titled “Elisha’s Inn”. It is about the woman in Shunem, where Elisha regularly passed through (2 Ki. 4:8-37). She had a small room built for him and furnished it with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. Whenever Elisha came through, this is where he stayed.
I wonder what he did there. Think? Rest? Pray? Ponder? Reflect? Intercede? Prepare?
Possibly all of the above. We would like Elijah’s Inn (sorry, shifting back again to the earlier of the two) to be a place like that as well. Obviously, we have made room for prayer, reflection, and rest. We make room for thinking and pondering as well. This is why we are open for people to come for a study retreat at Elijah’s Inn. We started off thinking of this idea with SBS and BCC staff in mind, but it is really open to anyone.
The idea of a study retreat is based on the spiritual discipline of study: study as something we do to make room for God in our lives, to know him better. It would mean you would come with a set of questions, a subject, or a book for a personal study week. We offer the option of a short debriefing and tutorial or discussion at the end of each day. And yes, we provide the bed, the table, the chair, and the lamp.
It all boils down to this question: what do you want to learn?
[Photo: Office.com, licence free]