828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday Feb. 12, 2012 - 2 Kings 5:1-14; Naaman is Cleansed

February 12, 2012; 6th Sunday after the Epiphany
2 Kings 5:1-14
Naaman is Cleansed
Theme: Naaman, an Aramean is healed of leprosy by the prophet Elisha. Naaman is a foreign military leader who has helped the king of Aram be victorious. This passage helps highlight the distinction between God’s power and the power attributed to humans. This passage also helps show living a Godly life is simpler (more direct) than we expect.

Background: The book of 2 Kings is a continuation of the history of Israel’s kings. This is part of a section in the Old Testament that begins with Deuteronomy and concludes with Kings, often known as the Deuteronomistic History. This section of the royal history pertains to the prominence of the prophet and relates a story of the conversion of foreign dignitaries – a chief topic following the exile.

Questions to Ponder
* Briefly, describe the situation in Israel; political structure, social structure, and division of the land if any.
* Why might the principle actors in this passage be a foreign military leader and the prophet Elisha?
* Why might Naaman’s leprosy be an issue for him and for the king of Aram?
* Do you think it was a coincidence that the Israelite girl was captured and worked for Naaman’s wife?
* How might Elisha’s capability been known to the Israelite girl and possibly with Naaman’s wife?
* Why might the king of Aram send a letter to the king of Israel as opposed to the “prophet who is in Samaria”?
* What might an issue be between the king’s national heritage and the prophet’s national heritage?
* Why might the king, as opposed to Naaman, have sent the gifts to the king?
* For what reason might the king of Israel torn his clothes? What might the significance of the tearing of the garment be?
* What is ironic about Naaman’s presence with Elisha; specifically with regard to the manner in which they lived and the way in which Naaman approached Elisha?
* How might this passage and the exchange between Naaman and Elisha be important to us in our relationship with others in God’s kingdom?
* What strikes you as odd in Naaman’s reaction to Elisha’s “requirement” for cleansing?
* What strikes you as odd about Naaman’s servant’s comment to Naaman as Naaman is planning to leave Elisha and return home without being healed?
* If Naaman had returned home without being cleaned, how might the king of Aram have responded to Naaman’s return?
* Do you think Naaman’s cleansing came from washing in the River Jordan 7 times?
* What is ironic about Naaman’s condition once he is cleansed by Elisha?
* What might the practical applications from this passage be for us today?

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