Epiphany 6 :: Scene of faith

An imagined conversation…

Naaman [to Elisha’s messenger]: So. You are telling me that your master, the great prophet of Israel, won’t bother to come out to greet me—The great Naaman who commands a vast army? Doesn’t he know that I could have him flogged? Or worse?

Messenger: Yeah. Whatever. Anyway my master has seen the chariots of God—the real thing, not the movie. He’s raised the dead, made stagnant streams fresh again, fed a multitude, and makes a pretty mean pot of stew. Can you do all those things? And besides, you don’t need him to say some hocus-pocus words over you in order to be cured. Just go the river as he said and wash yourself a few times. Looks like you could use a good bath anyway.

Naaman: Well, I could have done that back home and not come all this way. Do you even know how difficult it is to haul all this treasure across the desert? I expected your lord and master to have me do some great penance, some act of contrition, in order that I may be clean again. After all, I’ve had this disease a long time. I’d think I should have to do some long arduous task pleasing to his God, that I may be made whole.

Messenger: Nope. Just go to the Jordan, dip seven times and you’ll have skin as fresh as a newborn’s bottom. No magic incantations. No flailing, or swooning. No penance or palliative pills. You don’t even need to take a powder. Just have faith in the Lord God. That’s it.

Naaman: That’s it?

Messenger: Yep.

Naaman: And your God can make me clean again? Like a newborn?

Messenger: Just like a newborn. But be careful. Once you get faith, it’ll change you. You will never be the same again.

Naaman: Well, if God can make me whole again I don’t ever want to be the same.

Messenger: By the way, you can keep all that treasure. My master doesn’t accept gifts.

Naaman [proudly]: How ‘bout I come back and make him a pot of stew? Mine’s pretty good, too!


Link to RCL Lectionary for Epiphany 6, Year B

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