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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, July 07, 2007

Pent.,Proper 9(RCL) Warning: Power has adverse side effects

Teachers and Preachers, feel free to use what you find here with a simple attribution; no further permission is necessary.

2 Kings 5:1-14 and Psalm 30 ; Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Power is a heady intoxicant. For some it can be addictive.... they need more and more to feel good - even to feel at all.

Poor Naaman! He was a great warrior, the commander of the army of the king of Aram..... but he had leprosy. In today's medical terminology, it could have been psoriasis or eczema. By any standards, he had a skin problem so he must as looked as fierce as he fought. A powerful man, but he had no power over his skin condition. A servant mentioned to Naaman's wife that there was a prophet in the land of Israel who could cure Naaman. Instead of dealing with a prophet - for which he had no respect - the king of Aram sent a letter to the then king of Israel - along with many precious gifts - telling the king to relieve Naaman of his leprosy.

The king of Israel, knowing he could not possibly cure Naaman felt this was a power trip by a foreign king to pick a fight and felt he had been painted into a corner.

Luckily, Elisha heard of the predicament and told the king of Israel to send Naaman down to him. Namaan came in full regalia, pomp and circumstance and was insulted when the prophet himself did not come out of the tent to meet them, but instead sent a messenger to tell Namaan to dunk himself in the Jordan river 7 times.

Namaan, the self important, the hero in battle, was offended. Pardon me, sniveling prophet - but here I am, Naaman the great! I came all this way, far inferior to anything we have back home, and you can't even come yourself to see me??? If it weren't for his loyal servants, Namaan would have returned home angry, self defeated...... and still a leper.

Instead, he followed the simple instructions from a simple man of God... nothing flashy... and was healed.

Jesus, in Luke's account for today, sends out 70 disciples in pairs to town with little to weigh them down and a few ground rules: greet people in peace, eat what people offer you, if they reject you, dust it off and keep on moving. If you're invited to one house stay there, instead of trying to make a big splash by accepting every invitation. Do good, speak well, cure the sick.

Those who came back felt like celebrities:' In your name, even the demons submit to us!" Jesus gave them a warning not to gloat on what they had accomplished - through Him, but be joyful because God would remember what they had done in heaven'.

Power can and does have adverse side effects: It is destructive to believe that it emanates from us and that somehow we not only deserve recognition of it but also thanks for relinquishing it to others.

Jesus then - and now - tries to give us an antedote by helping us understand that power runs through us and has its Source elsewhere. Let us take this prescription well to avoid self-delusion and false importance. Power CAN have adverse side effects - unless we are humbly aware of its true source and give credit, glory and praise where it is due.

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


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