Wash and Be Clean

Prophet Margins

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

Our text is about obedience and about submitting to authority, but it is also about recognizing the voice of God in the voices of others. Naaman had little reason to listen to Elisha, except that he listened to the voice of the refugee girl whom he made a servant in his house. What does it take to hear the voice of God? To whom do we listen?

In this series, we will learn the life lesson of the importance of having a relationship with God and discover how God sees a prophet in each of us. During this worship series, children will be introduced to several prophets from the Old Testament. A prophet is defined as someone who hears messages from God and tells those messages to others. This series will incorporate different modes of communication used over time for people to share their messages. A game designed as a hybrid of Bingo and Tic-Tac-Toe will invite children to learn historical means of communication and help them communicate better with family members throughout the summer and this series.

“God Speaks to Me, 1, 2, 3” Game

This game board resembles a Bingo card, but it has only nine squares. Each square contains an image correlated to a method of communication or hearing a message. Throughout history, the methods of sending messages have changed. Each week, a different method of sending a message will be introduced to children, At the conclusion of the series, children will receive their own game card, which gives them the opportunity to play the game with their family. In addition, playing the game at home will reinforce the lessons learned from this summer series.

The game is played just like Bingo, except for needing only three in a row to cover. Each box represents a different form of communication or sending and receiving messages. During each week of the series, a new mode (and image) will be introduced, and each image will have a coinciding scripture passage listed. This will encourage children and their families to play the game while remembering the scripture texts and lessons from the prophets.

Throughout the series, the leader of the children’s messages will have a game card to introduce both the scripture and the communication image. (A creative way to introduce the communication methods to the children is to have actual versions of the communication methods if you can locate them. For example, try to find a real rotary telephone or tin cans and string. Good luck locating a telegraph!) At the conclusion of the series, provide each child with several copies of the game card (each with a random order of images). One card will need to be cut into pieces to use like Bingo balls and randomly pulled from a cup or bowl. In the final week of the series, the leader will demonstrate how to play the game by giving instructions and playing one time with the children.

Items needed to play the game the last week include game cards with the nine images placed randomly on the page; one card of nine images cut into squares to place in a bowl or cup to “call” the image (like Bingo balls), and small objects to cover each square when the image is called. You also need to have the opportunity to share scripture stories to reinforce each week’s lesson.

DOWNLOAD God Speaks to Me 1, 2, 3 (PDF)

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

2 Kings 5:14, New International Reader's Version

1So Naaman went down to the Jordan River. He dipped himself in it seven times. He did exactly what the man of God had told him to do. Then his skin was made pure again. It became “clean” like the skin of a young boy.


Two tin cans on a string


This summer, we are going to spend some time learning from some people called prophets. Do any of you know who a prophet was? (Allow children to answer.) A prophet was someone who heard messages from God and told those messages to others. The prophets will teach us this summer how to hear a message and then tell that message to others.

Throughout this summer, I also will introduce you to a new game called “God Speaks to Me, 1, 2, 3,” The game is played like Bingo and Tic-Tac-Toe. I have a card here to show you. At the end of this worship series, you will receive several cards so that you can play this new fun game with your family.

Prophets heard messages from God. Throughout time, people have heard messages in many ways. Each week, I will show you a different way to communicate with someone. Some ways you may have never heard of; others you may use every day.

The last week, we will play a game of “God Speaks to Me, 1, 2, 3”

Today’s story is found in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings. It involves an army commander named Naaman. Say that with me, NAY-Mun. Naaman had an important role in the king’s army, but he also had a very nasty skin disease. He needed to find a cure.

One night, Naaman’s wife suggested he see a prophet named Elisha. She thought Elisha could help heal him from this skin disease.

Naaman went to Elisha’s house. Elisha didn’t even come out to meet him. He just sent word for Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan River.

Naaman was frustrated. Couldn’t he just wash in the river near his own home? He almost left without even going to the Jordan. One of his men convinced him to try.

He arrived at the Jordan River, got out of his chariot, and walked into the muddy river water. He bent down and went under the water. He did it again. (Count to seven; indicate on your fingers; let the children count with you on their fingers.). He did it again and again.

Naaman came out of the water fully expecting to look the same with his skin disease still there. When his men didn’t say anything, he looked at his arms, and the skin looked clean and fresh. He felt his face, and his nose felt smooth and soft. He had been healed! God had healed him, and all Naaman had to do was wash in the Jordan River seven times.

This week, the form of communication is two cans and a string. Two cans and a string! Did you know you can send someone a message using these small items? (Allow children to respond.)

You can find these things around your house and try it yourself. You can even use paper cups. It works when the string is pulled tight, and someone speaks into one of the cans; the other person holds the can to his/her ear. Sound waves are created by the vibrations, depending on how tightly the string is pulled. It really works!

Each time you see a tin can or string this week, remember Naaman doing the small things and being healed.

Naaman knew for certain that no one was more powerful than God. Naaman discovered that God could cure even things that seemed incurable.

Naaman was healed just by being obedient to God. God may want you to do something simple as well. Be obedient and do what God wants.


God of communication: There is no one more powerful than you. Thank you for the story of Naaman and his obedience to you. This week, let us be like the prophet Naaman as we are reminded that even the small things in life can do big things for you. Amen.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In This Series...

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes