Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
July 5, 1998
|Act on God's advice from the messanger He sends
There is great comfort in the Lord
|128: He Leadeth Me: O Blessed
436: The Voice of God Is Calling
467: Trust and Obey
|We have joy in the Lord
Shout for joy in the Lord
|89: Joyful, Joyful, We Adore
384: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
540: I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord
|Luke 10:1-11, 16-20||The Lord sends his people with authority||454: Open My Eyes, That I May See|
|Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16||A new creation is what counts||88: Maker in Whom We
545: The Church's One Foundation
Words by John H. Sammis
Music by Daniel B. Towner
Tune Name: TRUST AND OBEY
Imagine yourself in old testament times. You are the leader of a mighty army. Your success has been recognized by your king. You are known throughout your country as a hero and a leader with great power.
Unfortunately, you have a disease. A deadly disease. A disease that prohibits you from participating in social and political arenas. A disease that stops you from enjoying close relationships within your family.
No one knows how to treat this disease. It is fatal. Despite all of your power and wealth, you can do absolutely nothing about it. Absolutely nothing. But . . .
Someone has a suggestion. Your spouse's servant has a suggestion? Well, that's better than anything else you have, so you listen. What? Did the servant say that you need help from a conquered nation? Absurd! What could that nation offer? After all, they were inferior. But . . .
You can't get the suggestion out of your mind. You are dying. No matter how crazy the suggestion sounds, you think it might be worth a try. But you are important. The king would miss you. So you go to the king. Permission is granted for you to go. You are sent to the neighboring nation. You are told to present your request to that nation's ruler.
Well, this is more like it! Listening to suggestions from servants wasn't very fun, but now you will tell a "king" to help you. As is customary, you will present gifts to this "king," but everyone knows that you are really the one in charge. So you arrive, you present the gifts, and you make your "request."
All of a sudden, your first impressions of the servant's suggestion seem to return. This "king" doesn't do anything. This "king" has no cure. This "king" tears his clothes and gives up in dispair. When he comes back, he tells you to go to a dirty little town by a dirty little river and see if a little old man can help. This nation had nothing to offer, and you have been made to look like a fool by offering rich gifts in exchange for nothing. But . . .
You have to go home anyway. It would not be that far out of the way to see what might happen. You stop at the little old man's house. What is this? The little old man sends a servant to you. Another servant!? You came here to tell a king to help you. Now they want you to take directions from the little old man's servant! And what did this servant say? Get into that dirty little river by that dirty little town! Not just once, but seven times!!! Enough is enough! You're going home. But . . .
Here come the servants again. This time they are your own servants, and they tell you to listen to the other servants. You are beginning to wonder who is really in charge. But you listen to them. And you go and bathe. And it works. And you are cured. You have been passed from servant to servant, and you have been served.
This week's featured hymn talks about the trust and obedience that we have to have in our lives. Certainly God, in power and majesty, deserves to be obeyed. Yet God lowered Himself, and lived with us, and served us. Who could be trusted more?
Trust God. Obey God. And go into the world cleansed and healed.
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|