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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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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Easter 7 (RCL): Knowing the Good News and Passing it On...

Acts 16:16-34; Psalm 97;Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21;John 17:20-26

Jesus - during his earthly life and after his transformation -made a point of letting us experience the Good News of God: We are loved.

Despite the inestimable expanses of God, we are loved individually. Despite our circumstances, we will be welcomed with love; when we are with others, we show God's love by being generous, gracious, hospitable, inclusive, non-judgemental. We can harken back to Psalm 8 for a question that has crossed the minds of many who question their worth in comparison with God's infinite power, resources and omnipotence: what is man that you are mindful of him.

When an earthquake rocked the prison where Paul, Silas and others had been detained, mysteriously they were freed from their shakles and the gates loostened. The guard on duty thought he would be killed by the Roman authorities because all the prisoners had or would try to escape - the only honorable thing to be done was to fall on his own sword. "Hold up, there. We haven't budged. No need to panic. You need not kill yourself". When the guard came to, he rushed through the prison only to find everyone in place. This pacifism was so radical that he fell down before Paul and asked to be saved. It also seems the guard let Paul out, cleaned his wounds and, with his household, was baptised. One in power - in the political sense, bowed down to another who had seemingly no power whatsoever in this field.

The power and majesty of God saturates Psalm 97: God can consume his adversaries, has dominion over fire, lightning, the mountains, false gods, and protects those who are faithful to him... even though they are lowly in comparison to all these other things.

John, the 'Christian' evangelist, has Jesus saying over and over that He and the Father are one. Here He goes one step further in lines 22 and 23: The glory that you have given me I have given them so that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one- so the world may know I have loved them even as you have loved me.

If one allows the Spirit within to take this compelling, extraordinary love in as fact and to be relied on, we might well wonder how we can possibly treat others poorly in so many situations.

Yet our goal is to strive to live a life of gratitude: giving, loving, trying, paying attention - similar to the ways Jesus did. If we are one, then let our minds be as one.... one day at a time, one encounter at a time. Our actions, says St. James, the brother of Christ, will display our faith without words - and the message of Good News will not need interpretation. The Trinity is one of Love - the kind you want to pass along.

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