Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, July 7, 2013 - 2 Kings 5:1-14; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

We'd love to see the glory of
God's work performed outright;
Thus Naamann scoffed at what
Elisha offered for his plight;
But flashy deeds and fancy baths
Are hardly Yahweh's style,
Instead, a God in whom we trust
Makes grace a thing worthwhile;
And likewise, when the seventy
Were jazzed at their success
At demon-casting-out, since just
The Twelve had been so blessed,
They learned (and so might we) that
Flashy deeds are not God's glory,
But rather knowing that we're loved
Is our salvation's story.

Scott L. Barton

Naaman, 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. Now 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.” So Naaman went in and told
his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. And the
king of Aram said, “Go then, and I will send along a letter to the
king of Israel.” He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six
thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. He brought the
letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches
you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure
him of his leprosy.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore
his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man
sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how
he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.” But when Elisha the man of
God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a
message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to
me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.”

So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the

entrance of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger 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, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and
call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the
spot, and cure the leprosy! 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. But his
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’?” 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.


After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of
him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.
He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his
harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the
midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one
on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this
house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will
rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the
same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer
deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever
you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before
you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God
has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not
welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your
town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet
know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ “Whoever listens to you
listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects
me rejects the one who sent me.”

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the

demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from
heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to
tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy;
and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that
the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in

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