FALL 2022 PREACHING SERIES 5: Disciples Worship God
October 9, 2022 – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today we continue our Fall preaching series on DISCIPLESHIP, the fifth part entitled: DISCIPLES worship God.
Disciples who worship God are people whose hearts are filled with love for the source of life – for the God by whom we were created and on whom we depend. Disciples worship God through different types of prayer, by thanking God for God’s blessings, and also by petitioning God for our own needs and those of others.
How do you worship God? Are you a pray-er? A thank-er? A Petition-er? Or a bit of all of them and perhaps even some more?
Recently I was working in another parish with some Confirmation candidates, and I asked them if they were in charge of the Church, what would they change? … one student, in fact, the first student, said, I would make Church a lot shorter.
While some of you may agree with him, I have to say, I left that day a bit sad, feeling that we have done a really bad job with our young people and perhaps even with our “not so young” people … I mean, if the best insight is that worshipping God together, once a week on Sunday, for less than one hour, is too long … we’ve really missed the boat!
I mean, when we put the timer on and see that:
1. A football game is more than an hour long and people even come early …
2. A Broadway show is usually at least about 90 minutes … and people reserve sometimes months ahead …
3. And religious services in other denominations can have sermons that alone can last more than 25 minutes … and then the social and fellowship follow!
What’s happened to us? Have we become too busy to worship our God? What’s the rush? Where are we all going? And why do some people regularly come late and insist on leaving mass early, even before I do? What’s the deal?
In the Old Testament reading today from the Book of Kings we hear the story of the healing of Naaman. He was the general in charge of Syria’s army. He was important and powerful. He also had a disease.
Because Naaman was important and powerful, he had servants. One of them was a captured Israelite girl who told Naaman’s wife about a prophet in her home country who could cure Naaman.
Because Naaman was important and powerful, he had resources. Because he had resources, he was able to set out for Israel to visit Elisha, the prophet the servant was talking about. He took a lot of money and other valuables with him in case the prophet’s services required steep payment. In the end, they were not necessary.
Ultimately, God healed Naaman, and God worked through the servant and through Elisha to create the opportunity for healing. The servant and the prophet were both God’s people, and as God’s people they contributed to Naaman’s healing.