Sunday, February 15, 2009

Epiphany 6

Today's readings: 2 Kings 5:1-14 (sermon text), 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1, and Mark 1:40-45.

Naaman was successful, respected, mighty - but he had leprosy. Like him, none of us is perfect. Yet we're still startled by sin and its effects. No one is holy; all are affected. We feel it when faced with perfection (human and divine both). The brighter His light, the darker our sin. It's always worse than we expected.

But when we're stunned by sin, a greater surprise comes: God's grace. It's a daily greeting - do we have ears and eyes to hear and see this marvelous medicine? Each time sin wounds, Christ heals, completely. According to Luther, God's grace is "exceedingly rich." Yet we doubt - can my wounds be healed? We are weak. But this is the appointed time for forgiveness.

Naaman's healing was unexpected. That made it all the better. God willingly healed an enemy of Israel, even though, he was too proud to accept it for free. Another surprise: no mystic rituals - only a common washing of water. Like he did, let God's surprises flow over you - look at His promises, listen to His voice, believe in Him because He is more than worthy of your belief and trust. See Him in the visible, physical elements - water, bread, wine - be surprised, and do not doubt. Through these and His promises, we may draw near.

Amen.

3 comments:

Martin...the Baptism Hound said...

"Another surprise: no mystic rituals - only a common washing of water."

Baptism, anyone?

Hannah J said...

You betcha! Thanks for stopping by again!

WomanHonorThyself said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhh trying to relax here!:)