Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sermon: 2 Kings 5: 1-19 Naaman's New Skin

For this Family Service talk, the first part is an interactive re-telling of the story, with key words. When the congregation hear the key words, they respond with the sound and the actions.

Leprosy - ‘aaaagh’
Wash - ‘scrub, scrub’
Clean - ‘hurray’
River - splish splash
Fight - ‘fight, fight’
Sad - ‘boo hoo’
Soldier - ‘yes, sir!’

Naaman was a soldier. In fact, he was the top soldier for the king of Aram. Naaman would lead the army to fight other armies, and he was very good at fighting. This one time, Naaman led his soldiers to fight against the people of Israel. His soldiers took people away from their homes to become slaves in Aram. Naaman took a young girl, probably not much older than some of the GFS girls, and she served in Naaman’s house.

The girl noticed that, even though Naaman was a good soldier, and very important, he was also very sad. This was because Naaman had leprosy. His skin was diseased, and other people were afraid of catching it.

The little girl knew that God was able to heal Naaman of his leprosy. She said to his wife: ‘If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’

So the king of Aram sent Naaman to the king of Israel. But the king of Israel was very sad when Naaman came to him. He thought the king of Aram was trying to pick a fight with him. ‘How can I cure him of his leprosy?’ he asked.

Elisha the prophet heard of what had happened, and he told the king to send Naaman to him. So Naaman arrived at Elisha’s house. He rang the doorbell, but Elisha didn’t come out. Instead, he sent a message, telling Elisha to go to the Jordan river, and wash himself seven times.

But Naaman was sad. He expected the prophet to come out to him, and say some words, and touch the spot, and heal his leprosy. And as for telling him to go to the Jordan river? Yuck. It wasn’t as nice as the Abana river, or the Pharpar river, the rivers of Damascus. He was sad, and about to go home.

But then his servants spoke up. If he had told you to do something really difficult, you would have done it. If you had to climb a really high mountain you would have tried it. If you have to swim across an ocean, you would give it a go. If you had to complete the Ninja Warrior obstacle course, we would have seen you on TV last night. So why not something as simple as going to wash in the river?

So Namaan went to the river Jordan. He went in for a wash. And then another wash. And another wash. And a fourth wash. Then another wash. He washed again. And then went in for his seventh and final wash.

As he came up out of the river, his leprosy had gone, his skin was like new, and he was clean. Naaman knew right then that there is no God in all the world apart from our God. He used to worship the god Rimmon, but Rimmon couldn’t do what God had just done.

So, having heard the story - tell me this: how did Naaman get cleansed from his leprosy? He dipped in the river Jordan 7 times. But how did he know to do that? Elisha the prophet told him. But how did he get to Elisha? The young girl from Israel told him about the prophet in Israel who could heal him - because of the God of Israel.

That little girl had been taken away from her home. She was far away from her family. She was in a strange place, with people she didn’t know. Yet she didn’t forget about home. She didn’t forget about her God. She still trusted God. And she told people about her God.

Naaman was cleansed from his leprosy because one little girl told him about her great big God. In a few moments the GFS girls and leaders are going to make some promises - to love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ, and to help other people.

We can help other people as we tell them about our God - how great he is, how good he is, and what he has done for us. He sent Jesus to come to die on the cross for us. We don’t need to do something really impossible to be cleansed from our sins - we just need to trust in Jesus, to believe what he says, to be saved by him.

This children's talk . all-age talk was preached at the Church Family Service and Girls' Friendly Society Enrolment Service in Aghavea Parish Church on Sunday 15th January 2017. It could also be used as a primary school assembly.

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