On Sunday we talked about the three core activities of the Christ Life – worship, discipleship and witness. When I came home from vacation a few weeks ago, I said that I could envision spending the rest of my ministry focusing on those three things, and that if we could learn how to do those three things well, we would probably be coming pretty close to being the kind of church God calls us to be.
A phrase in this morning’s Old Testament reading got me thinking about worship, that activity which focuses us on the glory and reality of God.
“As surely as the Lord lives.…” Words spoken by both Elisha and his servant Gehazi, but with entirely different meanings and intentions.
Naaman, the Syrian commander who was healed of his leprosy after following Elisha’s instructions to bathe seven times in the Jordan River, tried to offer Elisha a reward. Elisha refused: “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.”
After Naaman had traveled some distance, Gehazi said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” So he ran after Naaman and made up a story of a couple of prophets showing up at Elijah’s house. “My master asks, ‘Could you please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing?’ Of course, Naaman obliged. Read the rest of this post »