Archive for June, 2010

Thought & Prayer for Proper 9 & Ordinary 14, 2010 – 2 Kings 5:13-14

2 Kings 5:13-14But [Naaman’s] servants approached him and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.

Once again, sound advice is given to Naaman not by professionals but by concerned lay people, in this case Naaman’s servants. At Church Health Center we are currently training 35 Congregational Health Promoters to be reliable and helpful conduits of health and wellness information to the members of their congregations.

Prayer: Loving God, help us understand how we might be better resources to help and advise your children. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 9 & Ordinary 14, 2010 – 2 Kings 5:9-11a, 12

2 Kings 5:9-11a, 12 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a message to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “…Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the rivers of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage.

One problem with the instant availability of information on the internet is that we can often consider our partial knowledge as full. Naaman didn’t think the prescription offered by Elisha was adequate because of his preconceived notions.

Prayer: God of all understanding, give us discerning minds so that we may know good information from poor information. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 9 & Ordinary 14, 2010 – 2 Kings 5:2-4

This is a wonderful week of scriptures for those interested in the connection between faith and health. We are introduced to one of my favorite healing stories, that of Naaman. In addition, Paul instructs us on how to live as people of faith, and Jesus reminds us that “the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few…” Scriptures include 2 Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16 and Luke 10:1-11, 16-20. Alternate passages include Isaiah 66:10-14 and Psalm 66:1-9.

2 Kings 5:2-4Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my lord (Naaman, commander of the army of Aram) were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said.

In this passage, truth is spoken by a young girl. This unlikely source of information suggests Naaman go see the prophet Elisha in Samaria. It reminds us to listen carefully for the truth, because truth can be revealed through sources we don’t expect.

Prayer: Gracious God, help tune our ears to your truth in all the ways in which it is revealed to us. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 8 & Ordinary 13, 2010 – Psalm 16:7-9, 11

Psalm 16:7-9, 11 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

I wanted to end the week with this passage because it highlights for us one more time how our faith and our health are intimately connected. While we are getting our rest, we are being instructed. When our souls rejoice, our bodies rest secure.

Prayer: Almighty God, illuminate your path toward life so that we might experience true joy. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 8 & Ordinary 13, 2010 – Galatians 5:22-23, 25

Galatians 5:22-23, 25By contrast, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against such things. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

On Monday, I mentioned we would be reading about fruits of the Spirit this week. A friend reminded me that the word used in Galatians is singular not plural. She commented that if you live a Spirit-filled life, you cannot have one without the others.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us live Spirit-filled lives so that we might be of best service to you and others. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 8 & Ordinary 13, 2010 – Galatians 5:1, 13-14

Galatians 5:1, 13-14For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Paul reminds us that we are called to a radical love for one another, to become as slaves to one another. As people come before you today, contemplate how this passage informs your interaction with them.

Prayer: Understanding God, you call us to a deeper level of love for one another that can be uncomfortable for us. Continue to nudge us toward your will. AMEN.

Creating a Healthier Environment in Your Congregation


My friends at HopeandHealing.org have posted an article by Leigh Devries that offers tips to making your church building a healthy place for all.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 8 & Ordinary 13, 2010 – 2 Kings 2:9-11

2 Kings 2:9-11When they had crossed [the Jordan River], Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet if you see me as I am taken from you, it will be granted you; if not , it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.

I am fortunate to be working in an environment where I am surrounded by people of great faith. These people nourish my spirit daily.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for surrounding us with people whose faith in you is great. Grant that our faith be strengthened as a result of their presence in our lives. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 8 & Ordinary 13, 2010 – 2 Kings 2:1-2

Sunday will be the fifth Sunday after Pentecost. The lectionary selections bring us sweet chariots swinging low, parting rivers and fruits of the Spirit. They include 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20; Galatians 5:1, 13-25 and Luke 9:51-62. Alternate selections include 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 and Psalm 16.

2 Kings 2:1-2Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

Again in verse 6, Elisha is given a chance to stop travelling with Elijah, but he chooses to continue on the journey. Elisha’s faithfulness to God and Elijah runs deep. Consider today someone on whom you can depend to always be there for you, and give thanks to God for that person.

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for bringing loving, dependable, trustworthy people into our lives. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 7 & Ordinary 12, 2010 – Galatians 3:28

Galatians 3:28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

There are so many things which can divide us – race, ethnicity, language, class. This passage asks us to focus on that which can join us – our faith, our common interest in justice and our love of God.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us see your face in those who come before us today, and may they see your face in ours. AMEN.

Hymns of Healing at HopeandHealing.org


My friend and colleague, Rev. Stacy Smith, has written three hymns on healing inspired by scripture. The tunes are familiar ones to many Christians. Enjoy!

Thought & Prayer for Proper 7 & Ordinary 12, 2010 – Luke 8:26-27

Luke 8:26-27 Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As [Jesus] stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.

Imagine this scene for a moment: A naked, ritually unclean man approaches Jesus shouting as the scripture says in the next verse, at the top of his voice. While most of us would have crossed to the other side of the street quickly, Jesus confronts the demons and heals this poor man.

Prayer: Understanding God, help us keep our perspective this and every day, especially when we are confronted by some of your more troubled children. AMEN.


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