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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

CHOICES: 6th Sunday of Easter, Year C (RCL)

Feel free to borrow from the meditations or parts thereof given below. Simple accredation is all that's needed. DJ

Acts 16:9-15;Psalm 67;Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5;John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9


The readings for this day speak to me of choices. Life presents to us a series of choices from the most simple (should I hit the snooze button again) to some of the most complex (Dad is in a coma and there is no living will and he wasn't oriented to sign a DNR form and no one is prepared for the decision that needs to be made in a worst case scenario).

Paul saw in a vision a man asking him to come to Macedonia. He took his time along the way and made the choice to visit other cities, taught some women, including Lydia, a woman to dyed cloth, baptized her and her household (which may have included slaves) and eventually was persuaded to stay with Lydia and her relatives.

In Psalm 67, there is a plea for God to continue to chose THIS people, His people, and bless them.

The Revelation to John is to choose to see Jerusalem, the holy place, as not a city or place at all, but as God and the Lamb. The gates of the city are always open, there is no need for artificial light because the true light comes from the throne of God and the Lamb. There is the river of the water of life - bright and crystaline; water from that river sustains fruit and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. It does not say how or if we cross that river - that may be our decision as well.

Lastly, in John 5, Jesus asks what might appear to be a rather lame (pardon the pun) question to a paralytic: ""Do you want to be made well?". Let's see - the man had been ill for 38 years. I'd be pretty tired of that. Yet there may be other things at work here. The answers the man gave were excuses, not a yes or a no. It would seem that his indecision has been a default decision.

Jesus challenges him to stand up and walk; the paralytic then chooses to make 2 (two) decisions - a) to believe Jesus and try to walk and b) defy the Jewish law to heal or work (picking up you mat was work) on the Sabbath. He chooses in the affirmative on both counts.

As long as we live, choices will surround us. Our character, morals, ethics, charity, prayerlife, proclivity to action or procrastination will be shaped by those choices. Jesus, our Savior will be there both behind, beside and before us in those choices - challenging, supporting, encouraging, inviting us all at the same time.

In the end, we will all gather at the river......... and through his grace will choose to cross it - into the arms of a welcoming Jesus waiting on the other side to greet us fully once again.

Copyright © 2007 K.L.Joanna Depue and DJ on

Shall We Gather at the River words & music by Pastor Robert Lowry of the Han­son Place Bap­tist Church, Brook­lyn, NY (1826-1899) Hymn 141-Lift Every Voice and Sing, Church Publishing, Inc.

Shall we gather at the river,Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever Flowing by the throne of God?

Yes, we’ll gather at the river, The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river That flows by the throne of God.

On the margin of the river, Washing up its silver spray,
We will talk and worship ever, All the happy golden day.


Ere we reach the shining river, Lay we every burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver, And provide a robe and crown.


At the smiling of the river, Mirror of the Savior’s face,
Saints, whom death will never sever, Lift their songs of saving grace.


Soon we’ll reach the silver river, Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver With the melody of peace.



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