Friday, 13 February 2009

Naaman the Syrian

This week's reading from the Hebrew scriptures is the story of Naaman the Syrian.

I've got the weekend off - but was at a meeting in the week where we were reflecting on the story & I was very struck by the role of the 3 servants in this:
Naaman's wife's servant is the one who tells him to go to Elijah for healing in the first place - she has faith in her God.
Naaman's servant is the one who persuades him to bathe in the miserable little river Jordan - he seems to a pragmatist 'if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, would you not have done it?' - whether he believes it will work or just thinks Naaman might as well try it, we don't really know.
Elijah's servant goes running after Naaman after he has tried to pay Elijah for his services & Elijah has refused payment - Elijah's servant says 'Ooh, I'll take some money!' - & is punished with the skin disease. He thinks Gods power is something he can cash in on.
I think it would be interesting to reflect on the 3 different reactions to Gods power to heal.. and may well do this next time I'm called to preach in this reading. But meanwhile - Geneva & the museum of the Reformation, here I come!

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