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getting out the WORD - the fifth sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 10:29

the PRAYER...
Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days."

John 11:1-45

It's amazing how quickly everything's changed. Almost overnight! One day, we were calling it 'death' and the next, it was 'crossing over', 'passing away'. And instead of an end, death had become just one more rung on the ladder to forever.

Unfortunately, changing vocabulary does little or nothing to eliminating the fear - the terror - we have of dying. A fear that coils itself around us, restricting, constraining. Sure, we pretend it's not there. Ignoring it, hoping it will just go away. But then, we see those words and the curtain is torn in two and we behold death in all its brutal glory. "Lord, already there is a stench," she says. Nothing to interfere. Nothing to intervene. Just death. Plain. Ordinary. Unexceptional. "Remember that you are dust," we were told, "and to dust you shall return."

Yet it's here - and only here - standing outside the tomb, with the smell of death in our nostrils, that Jesus speaks. "I am the resurrection," he says, "I am the life."

Bob Barndt, pastor

getting out the WORD - the fourth sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:05

the PRAYER...
Bend your ear to our prayers, Lord Christ, and come among us. By your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with your Spirit, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
And they drove him out... .

John 9:1-41

About a month ago, I came across a quote by the good doctor I'd never seen before. "The gospel," Luther says, "cannot be truly preached without offense and tumult." Most of us expect rainbows and butterflies! But instead of a great, big smiley face, Luther reminds us, when we really, truly preach the good news, we get opposition! You see, the same word that lifts up the lowly, also brings down the powerful! And the same word that fills the hungry with good things sends the rich away empty! And we're sure to hear about it!

So, this week, Jesus walks along, sees a man blind since birth, and heals him! The gospel of the Lord! "Praise to you, O Christ!" But instead of a happily-ever-after, there's only confusion and conflict! When everything's done and said, the man that was blind since birth - the man who, now, sees - is driven out of his home! People, I guess, are more accepting of a blind beggar than of a blind beggar who can see!

The gospel can't, really, be preached without offense and tumult... even if Jesus is doing the preaching! Maybe ESPECIALLY if Jesus is doing the preaching!

Bob Barndt, pastor

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Today's Bible Reading

  • Psalm 6

    ​O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger,
    or discipline me in your wrath.
    Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
    O LORD, heal me, for my bones are shaking with...

Verse of the Day

  • Psalm 6

    ​My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O LORD — how long? Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

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