Collect and Readings for the Third Sunday after Trinity – 2 Kings 5.1-14, Isaiah 66.10-14, Psalm 30, Psalm 66.1-9, Galatians 6.1-16, Luke 10.1-11, 16-20
The Prayer for today
Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts
whereby we call you Father: give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service, that we and all
creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son
our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
At first Naaman is most reluctant to take the necessary steps for his skin to be made new. Elisha’s instructions are far too low-tech and simple for a man of his standing and intelligence. It’s all rather an insult. Yet he was anxious enough to be healed. The skin disease was both irritating and unsightly, and judging by the changes of clothing packed for the journey, Naaman was a fastidious man.
Happily, his servants are able to persuade him to put his pride away and try the recommended cure, and he is totally thrilled with the result. We sense his joy and relief as he comes up out of the water with skin as clear as a young child’s.
God can give us all that ‘fresh as a young child’ sensation, as we allow him to make us new creations, born of the Spirit. Paul, writing to the Galatians, sees that a constant battle is going on between our sinful nature and our spiritual nature, and inspires us to go for the better deal of the spiritual nature, which brings joy and lasts for eternity. It is bringing people too enjoy this new creation which is the whole point
Of our ministry, says Paul, and the religious traditions and habits matter only in so far as they help to make us aware of our need of God’s nursing and bathing. The really important thing is being made new.
And there are so many tired and disillusioned souls, all struggling to save themselves, and suspecting their frenetic attempts are actually doomed to failure, if they dared stop for a minute and look. Jesus sees it as a huge harvest, ripe for gathering, but with far too few workers; and people remain trapped in their distracted existence as a result of meeting no one able to offer them the freedom of God’s new life.
So today offers us both great hope and a great challenge. Who are the workers to be?
Some things to reflect on:
· What put Naaman off obeying Elisha’s instructions? Are we sometimes put off obeying God’s instructions and suggestions for similar reasons?
· What is the difference between a Christian and a person with a loving and generous nature who isn’t a committed Christian?
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev’d Fiona Robinson