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River in Judea

VoicesRaised_block Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 NIV)

“There is a river in Judea that I heard of long ago. And it’s a singing, ringing river that my soul cries out to know . . .” The choirs first sang River in Judea by John Leavitt at our first worship festival in November of 1998. Since that time we have sung it many times and in many places. It is a song that has touched many people.  The words talk about a river that “freely flows” and “fills me up”.  Water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.  The Love of God flows out to us through the Holy Spirit. The book of Revelation talks about the crystal-clear rivers of living water “flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city” (Revelation 22:1-2 NIV). Just as a river brings life wherever it flows, let the living waters of the Holy Spirit fill you up, give you Life and then spill out to all those around you.

River in Judea

Often times I dream of music, of the river that freely flows.
And it sings a song sweeter than honey, one every body knows.
Late at night I hear it singing then again when I wake at dawn.
And it fills me up with hope and goodwill, the will to go on, go on.

There is a river in Judea, that I heard of long ago.
And it’s a singing, ringing river that my soul cries out (my soul cries out) to know.

I believe it keeps on travelin’ but it rests on the Sabbath day.
And the time when it pauses in stillness, I almost hear it pray.
When I’m weary and downhearted, how I long for the song it sings,
For the calm within its gentle blue, the peace that it brings, it brings.

May the time not be too distant when we meet by the river (meet by the) shore.
‘Til then dream of that wonderful day as we sing once more (once more):

There is a river in Judea (Hallelu) that I heard of long ago (Hallelu).
It’s a singing, ringing river that my soul cries out,
My soul cries out to know (the River in Judea, Hallelujah!)

River in Judea © 1989 Shawnee Press, Inc. Words: Linda Marcus. Music: Jack Feldman. Arrangment: John Leavitt. All rights reserved. Used by permission. CCLI #646016


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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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April 2013



On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory