Archive for July, 2013

At the River

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Rev. Dr. Melanie Miller

July 7, 2013

Listen to Sermon

Contemporary Testimony:  “Muddling Through (II Kings)”, by J. Mary Luti, The Christian Century, September 23-30, 1998.

We’ve all asked for brazen blessings on unavoidable compromises. So to watch God leave Nan-man alone while never leaving his side is a huge relief. It is also a strong antidote to perfectionism, a reproach to a thousand daily judgmental impulses, a cause for gratitude and praise.

God outwaits us while in weakness healing begins. God outwaits us while we locate the fissures of mercy in the heaped debris of fear and anger – and learn to breathe the Spirit’s air. We change and grow, believe and love by grace, the best we can. We are going to the river, whatever the reason or unreason that moves us; we are going to wade right in. Knee-deep in unaccountable love, we’ll meet the One who gives us all our ragged victories and presides over our life.

Biblical Testimony: 2 Kings 5:1-14

5Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram… though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. 2Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5And 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. 6He 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.” 7When 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.” 8But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king ofIsrael 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 inIsrael.”

9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” 11But 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 his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! 12Are 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. 13But 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’?” 14So he went down and immersed himself seven times in theJordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.