Reflections for Sundays, July 7-21, 2013

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July 7

2 Kings 5:1–14

“But Naaman became angry and went away…”

Naaman was furious when told to go and bathe in the river. He thought he deserved better treatment than that! After all, the prophet didn’t even come out and speak to him directly. Such indignity! Yet, after servants persuade him to give it a try, Naaman discovers that he is cured. God works in amazing and surprising ways. Indeed, had Naaman not listened to a foreign slave girl in the beginning, he would never have received a cure.

  • When have you been tempted to ignore some advice because it seemed trivial?
  • What has happened when you took advice that seemed trivial?
  • Who’s in?

July 14

Luke 10:25–37

“Who is my neighbour?”

A lawyer asks Jesus how to achieve eternal life and, upon being reminded of the need to love God and his neighbour, he pushes the question one step further: Who is my neighbour? In response, Jesus tells a story that would have shocked his listeners then, and should still shock us now. Jesus wants to challenge ideas of who is a “good guy.” Religious leaders from within Jesus’ community turn out not to help someone; a stranger, however, does.

  • Who are the strangers in our midst who we might not want to accept as being heroes and healers?

July 21

Luke 10:38–42

“…a woman named Martha welcomed [Jesus] into her home.”

We may think the story of Martha, Mary, and Jesus is cut and dried – but maybe not. Both women try in their own way to welcome Jesus: Martha by preparing a meal, and Mary by attentively listening to Jesus’ teachings. Neither one seems really to be at fault, and when we read the story with fresh eyes, we realize Jesus does not put one sister down in order to praise the other. The implication is left that both are to be commended.

  • Sometimes we need to be active and busy, and sometimes we need to sit and listen.
  • Which do you tend to do most?
  • How can you switch to trying the other sometimes?

(Seasons of the Spirit™ Wood Lake Publishing)

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