July 10th 2022 – “The foreign General in need of a cure”

2022-07-10 Sunday Service 10:30 AM - “The foreign General in need of a cure”

Dear all,

Last week, Elijah was carried off to heaven in a chariot of fire, and Elisha found himself left alone. But the story continues. Not even a great prophet like Elijah is irreplaceable. (Although according to Jewish tradition, Elijah had the unique and special task of returning from heaven to herald the arrival of the Messiah.) The renown of Israel’s prophets extended well beyond its boundaries. Just as Elijah had anointed the king of Aram (Syria) before departing, the great Aramean General (who, we are told, God used to defeat Israel) seeks healing from Israel’s prophet, Elisha. (Think of a Russian General travelling to Ukraine to seek out a monk for physical and spiritual healing and you get a sense of how unusual it is.) The God of Israel moves between borders and peoples and above military conflicts with sovereign power and in surprising ways. Naaman has learned of the prophet, or perhaps been reminded of him, through his wife’s slave girl who had been captured in a border skirmish with neighbouring Israel. She says to her despairing mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his skin disease.” (Samaria was the name of the northern Kingdom of Israel.)

For Naaman it is the beginning of a education in the humble paths of the God of Israel, which contrast sharply with the pomp and majestic expectations of the court in Damascus where he holds an elevated and favoured position, despite his disease.

Order of Service

Call to Worship
Hymn 814: “Morning has broken”
Prayer of Adoration
Prayer of Confession
Declaration of Grace
The Lord’s Prayer
Responsive reading: Psalm 30
2 Kings 5: 1-18
Anthem: “Purify my heart/Refiner’s fire”
Luke 17: 11- 19
Hymn “Give thanks/Merci”
Sermon: “The foreign General in need of a cure”
Hymn: “Healing river of the Spirit”
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Hymn 374: “O for a thousand tongues to sing”
Go now in Peace