This past Sunday I used a Hebrew Scripture text and a Gospel text about healing encounters with God.
The story from 2 Kings 5: 1-3, 7-15 told the story of Naaman who was seeking a healing of his leprosy, and how the prophet Elisha addressed Naaman’s request. Some of you commented on Naaman’s frustration with the healing being easy rather than way complicated. That seems a good reflection for much of what happens in DC.
The Gospel story from Luke talks about Jesus’ encounter with 10 Lepers who ask for mercy, and Jesus’ response that they take themselves to the priests. The 10 were obedient and discovered they were healed on the way. There was only one, the outsider Samaritan, who came back to give thanks to Jesus. Jesus said to this man, “Your faith has made you well…”
I invited the congregation to consider gratitude throughout the week, and asked folks, when asked the question — How are you? to respond, I am grateful!
Just want you to know that the Holy Spirit affirmed this is an important teaching by sending me two reminders yesterday.
I was up early walking our two dogs and making our way north on 14th Street right by the bus stop in front of Luther Place. One of our neighbors greeted me and explained that she had been in worship the last few Sundays. She told me her name and said, “Please remember my name, and please know that I am grateful!”
I had to smile as I responded, “You are my early morning angel today, reminding me that I am grateful too!”
I spent the rest of the walk generating my own litany of gratitudes…
Later, the same morning, I was in the Bethany Day Center at N Street Village, after the weekly bible study that I offer. I was greeting some of the guests and inviting them to the 5 pm worship on Sunday. One of the guests, who is a church member, called me over and said a loud, “Pastor Karen,” as she gave me a disapproving look! I must have seemed puzzled, so she went on, “I heard you say that you are good today — that is not accurate, you are grateful!” We both laughed!
Two angels reminded me in one day about gratitude. God is alive, and I am grateful…