Archive for June, 2016

Proper 9 (14) 2016 – 2 Kings 5:13

Thursday, June 30, 2016

2 Kings 5:13But Naaman’s servants approached 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’?”

It might be human nature to gravitate toward complicated even expensive solutions.  Google “benefit of walking 30 minutes per day,” and you will see that simple changes in one’s routine can lead to extraordinary health benefits.

Creator God, give us the strength to add a healthy habit to our daily routine, and help us to encourage others to do the same.  Amen.

Proper 9 (14) 2016 – 2 Kings 5:10-12

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2 Kings 5:10-12Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman, 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 waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage. 

Living on the banks of a river sometimes called the Big Muddy, I can understand Naaman’s feelings every time I read this passage.   I would not stick a wounded hand or foot in my beautiful Mississippi River.

Creator God, give us minds that can discern your true voice from the chatter all around us.  Amen.

Proper 9 (13) 2016 – 2 Kings 5:2-3

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

2 Kings 5:2-3Now 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 were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 

Listening for God cannot be a passive exercise.  Throughout the Bible, God uses unlikely people to deliver messages of love and healing.  In this case, a young slave girl speaks the truth.

Gracious God, help us to be more attentive to your unending presence in our lives.  Amen.

Proper 9 (14) 2016 – 2 Kings 5:1

Monday, June 27, 2016

Elisha heals Naaman and Jesus sends out his disciples in pairs to spread the word about the kingdom of God in our lectionary selections for this week.  The passages include: 2 Kings 5:1-14 and Psalm 30, Isaiah 66:10-14 and Psalm 66:1-9, Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16, and Luke 10:1-11, 16-20.

2 Kings 5:1Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. 

It was important to the writer of 2 Kings to point out that even a mighty commander can contract leprosy.  It reminds us that all of us need healing of some kind, that all of us are fragile in places.

Loving God, help us to remember that we need to handle one another with care.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2016 – Galatians 5:13-14

Friday, June 24, 2016

Galatians 5:13-14For 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.”

As people of faith, we have a duty to serve one another.  Today, consider the ways you serve your neighbors, and ask God to bless your efforts.

Gracious God, help us to creatively serve our neighbors in ways which exemplify our faith in you.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2016 – 2 Kings 2:1-2

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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.

When the Israelites first camped in the Holy Land, they camped at Gilgal, which also became associated with the start of spiritual journeys.  Jacob had his vision of the ladder to heaven, and he talked to God at Bethel so there is a spiritual maturity associated with Bethel.  So in the last hours of Elijah’s life, the prophet took his successor through a spiritual walk, the symbolism of which would have been fully understood by Elisha.

Loving God, help us walk with confidence as we seek to follow the path you have set for us.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2016 – 1 Kings 19:20

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

1 Kings 19:20Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Then Elijah said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?”

“I will follow you!  Just let me say goodbye to my parents.”  With twelve yoke of oxen being worked, it is believed that Elisha came from a wealthy family, and that he was not afraid of hard work since he was leading one of the yoke.  In becoming a helper to Elijah and later a prophet in his own right, Elisha was showing himself anxious to give up his wealth for a chance to serve God more deeply.

Gracious God, give us the courage to live our lives in ways which leave us prepared to serve you whenever we are called upon.  Amen.

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