4th Sunday after Pentecost, July 3rd Readings and Liturgy

Please join us for worship this Sunday at 10:45am, in-person in the Sanctuary or live, on-line via the Zoom video conferencing app. Just drop us an email at info@fpcnewkirk.org and ask to be added to our Zoom invitation list.

Scripture Readings

First Reading 2 Kings 5:1-14

Second Reading Galatians 6:1-16

Gospel Reading Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Sermon “Where Is Power and Security Found?”

The story of Naaman is fascinating from several perspectives. It tells us a story rich in irony, that also teaches us important lessons about where true power lies and where real security may be found. On this independence weekend, we rightfully celebrate the wonderful freedoms that we enjoy in this great country where we live. But there are some things here in this Old Testament story that we need to hear in our current day and age. Here we find abundant reminders that the affairs of nations are quite secondary to the things of God. Here we learn that all the trappings of wealth and power and impressive ritual are all quite worthless from God’s perspective. Those who receive God’s blessing must acknowledge the gift and where they come from. We also see two other things that are surprising: First, Knowledge of God and truth about our own circumstance can come from unexpected sources. Secondly God’s providence will seldom match our assumptions.

Welcome to the long season after Pentecost! During this time we note a change in the way the lectionary selects our Old Testament scripture passages. During most of the year they are selected so that they have something to do with the gospel lesson, but in what is referred to as “ordinary times” they follow a semi-continuous pattern of their own, so that we can get a feel for the flow of the narrative.You may remember that last summer, we read through passages in 1st and 2nd Samuel and a bit into 1st kings. We concentrated on some notable characters with lessons to teach us – saints and sinners alike, folks like Samuel, Saul, Goliath, David, Nathan and Solomon. we even visited with Ester, Job and Ruth.

Now this summer, we are continuing our journey into 2 Kings, but now we are going to concentrate on the words and deeds of the Prophets. Folks like Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Hosea and Isaiah. They had some wondrous experiences with the power of God, but also had to deliver some stern warnings to the people and their leaders as well. They were passionate men and women caught up in the spirit of God in a way they could not refuse, yet they often suffered greatly as we read this morning. Their words have the godly quality of being true for all time – not only for the specific circumstances in which they were given, but also pointing forward to future fulfillments, future problems and greater grace to come, right on up to our very day. We find that in many ways, they are writing to us as well. We should give careful attention to the words of God that they speak, the compelling metaphors that they use and sometimes even act out.