Ordinary 14C – July 7, 2019

2 Kings 5

In the United States, this Sunday falls immediately after our national day of celebration. The story of Namaan might be used to challenge preconceived ideas, particularly when we conflate nationalism with faith.

Some humor to begin:

Ending his sermon, a preacher announced that he would preach on Noah and the Ark on the following Sunday, and gave the scriptural reference for the congregation to read ahead of time.

A couple of boys noticed something interesting about the placement of the story in the Bible. They slipped into the church and glued two pages of the pulpit Bible together.

The next Sunday, the preacher got up to read his text. “Noah took unto himself a wife,” he began, “and she was” – he turned the page to continue – “three hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high.”

He paused, scratched his head, turned the page back, read it silently, and turned the page again.

Then he looked up at his congregation and said, “I’ve been reading this old Bible for near fifty years, but there are some things in it that are hard to believe.”

source unknown

The story of Namaan suggests a few ideas that we may indeed find hard to believe:

  • God gives victory to our enemies.
  • God speaks through foreign children.
  • Right worship does not require the mega-church or particular church.

Once, when I preached on this, we were self-evicted from our premises while an environmental hazard was being cured, our leprosy. We were given refuge in the Methodist church down the street. We took no dirt, as that was the reason for our seeking refuge.

The child in our story has been captured and enslaved, but I wonder how we might use the story to speak through the children at our border.

Have a blessed week – Laurin