Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2 Kings 5:1-14

Pentecost +6 - Year C

2 Kings 5:1-14

Theory: We live within six-degrees of separation from one another. Here we move from an unnamed slave girl from one country to her mistress in another country to connect a commander with a prophet for purposes of healing. Were we to pay more attention we would find ourselves related to the poor and abused of the earth. What connections are we overlooking that would lead to healing?

Mission programs that connect local folks to half-way-around-the-world folks is an example of this same phenomenon. Doesn't it make you grin to imagine playing a more welcoming version of Elisha and to strew healing all over the place!

Now, instead of a formal mission program that institutionally connects people, imagine those who stand on street corners holding signs requesting money or a job or a person in a grocery line using food stamps or someone at urgent care when you go for a routine checkup and wonder who you know who knows them and how you might be a sign of hope to them in a time of need. Would it change your focus as you move through the day to know everyone you meet is a friend of one of your friends and it would help your already known friend for you to be kind to their friend you are just meeting?

In this sort of small world we need to redefine sainthood. It is no longer the exception to the rule, the big-time, well-known saint that defines holy-living. Every ordinary person in their ordinary day and with their ordinary connections can be a source of healing for another ordinary person. Simple awareness of harm that may be done and the avoiding of it, brings some healing. Simple awareness of a good that may be done and the doing of it, brings some healing. Welcome to ordinary sainthood.

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For those who would appreciate a song about this, I recommend Garnet Roger's, First Day of Spring. It can be found at minute 42:50 on Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour (Show 309).


  1. The idea has merit, but but I think the story has more punch when we understand that Naaman himself was not one of the "poor and abused." He was the enemy and abuser, the master of the slave and representative of the "enemy." Yet, God showed favor on Naaman and provided a way for his healing. It is a remarkably prophetic story, especially for July 4!

  2. Wherever the story has "punch" is where you need to focus. Blessings upon your preaching and those able to hear it.

    I've been thinking about a sermon series I saw with the title "Ordinary Saints" and was trying that on for size. I expect good stories to be able to carry multiple emphases for a variety of settings and needs.

    I must admit that I often look at folks in a variety of enemy camps and upon abusers with more sadness than contempt. Poor Babies, I mourn, so bereft that they can only act in ways that inflict pain.

    I'll be interested in seeing your sermon if you post it on your blog and how you deal with the prophetic issue in regard to leaders. I'll be listening in with ears especially attuned to everyday prophecy as I live outside the power structures (except for complicity of silence) of our day.



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