We pray grace will always follow us, that we may be given to good works. With that gift we will know what needs doing, and set out to do just that. We will recognize that we are directed by God to a necessary effort. When we are done, we will then do the right thing and offer thanks to the Lord for the gift of the work. We ask; we receive, and we give thanks.
Gifts are not always glorious, or fabulously accompanied with singing and dancing. Sometimes gifts are just put before us to discover and take as our own.
Naaman a commander of the army of the King of Aram discovered this. With the help of the Lord he had won a mighty victory; but in spite of his might as a warrior, he suffered from leprosy. In a raid, a young girl had been taken captive from the land of Israel, she served Naaman’s wife. She told her mistress, “If only Naaman were with the prophet in Samaria, the prophet Elisha would cure him of leprosy.”
Naaman did as the girl suggested; but as a great warrior he went before Elisha’s house with a great entourage of horses and chariots; but Elisha would not come out, and only sent a message to Naaman. “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.”
Naaman, a proud man, was maddened that Elisha would not show himself, and went away in a rage. His servants spoke to him and said, “If the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said was, ‘Wash, and be clean?’” So, he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan as Elisha as told him, and his flesh was restored. The warrior humbly praised the God of Israel.
Entering a small village, 10 lepers approached Jesus and called out “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And they went, and were made clean. Then one of them turned back, and at Jesus’ feet thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
“Were not 10 made clean?” Jesus asked, “Where are the other nine? Get up and go your way; your faith has made your well.”
Blessings are always before us. Pride and boastfulness can hamper our attention to what God would have. The courtesy of gratitude can be easily offered to the Lord. Amen.
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.