Tuesday, February 5, 2013
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.
Read: Psalm 56, 2 Kings 5:1-14, and 1 Corinthians 14:13-25
Today’s Old Testament reading is another reflection on Sunday’s Gospel lesson. Jesus’ second point was that there were many lepers in Israel in Elisha’s day, yet the only one we know he healed was a Syrian soldier. Today’s reading is that story.
Syria was another nation which the Israelites hated. In Elisha’s day, they ruled over Israel, forcing them to send tribute to the Syrian king. The Israelites, fiercely independent, were miserable under their reign.
Elisha didn’t see Naaman himself, but sent his servant to talk to him. We may ask why, but we don’t really have any good answers. Perhaps Elisha was just not willing to talk to this guy, who perhaps represented oppression and tyranny to him. Perhaps he wanted to prove to Naaman that it wasn’t Elisha who was doing this magic, it was God who was working this miracle. At any rate, he sent his servant to talk to Naaman, and Naaman didn’t like it one bit. One of Naaman’s men talked him into doing what Elisha had prescribed, arguing that it couldn’t hurt and that it might actually help. When it did, Naaman was very happy.
Just like yesterday, we can see that God wants us to help others, even if they’re the “wrong” color or nationality. Even if they represent tyranny and oppression to us. We can also see that God uses the strangest things to bring about healing. The Jordan river isn’t special in and of itself. Dip seven times in it and all you will have is very wet hair. Unless, that is, God told you to do that so that you could be healed of some injury or illness. The Jordan isn’t special, but it worked for Naaman because he was being obedient to God’s command, spoken through Elisha.
How has God healed you? Has it been through strange means? How can you take healing to someone else? Ask God to help you be an instrument of healing. Write your own prayer.