Bible readings & reflections

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Weekly Bible Readings and Reflections

4th Sunday after PENTECOST – Sunday 7th July 2019

2 Kings 5:1-14: Elisha is visited by Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Aram, who has a serious skin disease. He instructs him through a messenger to wash himself seven times in the Jordan, which, after some complaining, Naaman does, and
Psalm 30: David celebrates God’s deliverance, healing and mercy, and that God has turned his mourning into dancing, as he commits to a life of praise.
Galatians 6: 7-18: Paul instructs the Galatians to give themselves in bringing goodness into the world – correcting one another, working faithfully, providing for their teachers, and doing good (justice) at every opportunity.
Luke 10:1-12, 17-24: Jesus sends the seventy two disciples out to preach the Kingdom, instructing them to bless the homes where they stay  and to accept the hospitality they are offered. On their return he celebrates with them, but stresses that the best thing is to have “names written in heaven”.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

The central message this week is simple but significant – do not despise the saving power of small things.

God’s commitment to justice, restoration and healing is proclaimed strongly through the Psalms and Isaiah’s song, but the way God’s saving work comes into being is often through small, ordinary people and actions.

Naaman complains because Elisha speaks to him through a servant and asks him to wash in an ordinary river in Israel – yet he can only be healed by changing his attitude, and embracing this ordinary way to healing.

Galatians speaks about the work of following Christ in the every day terms of our relationships with one another (correcting each other and sharing burdens), taking responsibility and doing good for all.

And Jesus sends his disciples out to share the message of God’s reign, while accepting hospitality along the way – a very ordinary practice for travellers. Even when they celebrate overcoming demons, Jesus downplays it.

Psalm 30 recounts an ordinary journey from joy to pain and back again, relying on God’s mercy and grace – a common human experience.

All of the readings point to the very ordinary human longing for liberation and salvation – which is, of course, the essence of the message that Jesus’ disciples would have preached.
May you celebrate the small and the ordinary in your worship this week.

Blessings as we are sent to proclaim the life giving Good News of Jesus, Rev Tania