Monday, September 24, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Naaman, a Syrian army officer, had leprosy. In those days, leprosy was a death sentence. Even today there are still parts of the world where treatments are expensive or unavailable, and people who have leprosy cannot live with everyone else. Instead, they are sent to live with other lepers, and since they cannot have jobs they soon resort to begging or stealing. Naaman was such a strong leader that he was able to keep his position, although in time even he would have found himself an outcast.
When Elisha told him what he would have to do, Naaman got upset. He thought that Elisha should meet him face to face, and he was certain that the prophet should do something that looked and sounded impressive to heal him. But Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan, which was known to be quite a nasty river. At first Naaman would have gone away, angry and still leprous, but his servant managed to talk him into washing in the river.
Sometimes God tells us to do things that seem beneath us or that seem foolish. Sometimes God chooses to go about things in a way that aren’t nearly as impressive as we’d like. Sometimes we get ready for a big flash and boom, and he’s working in a way that’s barely noticeable. But instead of taking our toys and going home, we need to embrace the fact that God is working, that he knows what is best, and that he will not steer us wrong.
God tells us to do things that may seem senseless. But when we respond in obedience, he does something great. How has God blessed your faith? Pray about this. Ask God to help you be obedient to his will. Write your own prayer.