Our first reading today is about Naaman the Syrian, a national leader, the commander of the Syrian army. we hear about his illness and his journey of faith and healing.
It is interesting that in
I think it is interesting, too, that today is the Fourth of July, American Independence Day when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. The
First of all, Naaman lived in
But after he came to visit Elisha and was cured of his leprosy he declared, “Behold, I now know that there is no God in all the earth but in
Now we can turn to the Gospel, where Jesus sends seventy people, two by two, to visit the towns where he himself intended to go. His instructions were simple – take no purse, bag or sandals, and don’t stop to talk to anyone on the road. Say, “Peace to this house!” and accept their hospitality if they welcome you. In the towns, too, if people welcome you, accept their hospitality, heal the sick in that town and say, “The
There are three connected groups here. Firstly the Christian Leaders of
They are all judged by what they do and not by what label they carry. The Christian leaders of the nations; and the Muslim leaders as well; are judged not by whether they say they are Christians or Muslims, but by how they behave. In Saturday’s paper, Julia Gillard said, “Do not judge me by how I got here, judge me by what I do. Naaman asked Elisha not to judge him because he bowed down in the house of Rimmon, but to accept him because his heart was true to the Lord God.
In the same way, Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, Christina Keneally and Julia Gillard will be judged, not by their declarations of faith, or lack of it, but their actions will show us if their hearts are true to the Lord God. When Jesus sent the seventy people out, two by two, he did not tell them to declare the Lordship of Christ. He told them to bring peace, to accept hospitality, to heal the sick and then say, “See? We have just shown you that the
This is how evangelism works; this is how we are judged by those around us; not by the labels we carry for they tell people nothing. Christian mission shows the Holy Spirit at work when true hearted people who love God and other people work together for the good of all, and especially, as St Paul says, for those of the family of faith.
Let us pray today for all the leaders of the nations, those who make and administer our laws, especially those who profess to be Christians. We pray that they and we may be true to God in our hearts so that the works of the Spirit may show in our lives so that you may be glorified in Jesus Christ our Lord and that those who have eyes to see may see the Christ-light in our lives and turn to Christ and be saved.