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getting out the WORD - the fourth sunday of easter
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 19:15

the PRAYER...
O God our shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, 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:] "Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

John 10:1-10

the DEVOTION...
For the good doctor, there are only two ways of looking at Jesus - either as example or as gift. The first option is all about us. Our thoughts and words and deeds! All shoulds and oughts and musts. Our life - according to this way of thinking - is about us. But that second way - as gift - is all about god! Grace and mercy! Forgiveness and love! Unearned! Undeserved! Unconditional! Our life is in god's hands! Certain and sure! Always! Forever!

And I wonder if Luther didn't get that view, here, from this week's gospel. On the one hand, there are the strangers and the bandits and the thieves who take the kingdom by violence, force; stealing, killing, destroying. On the other hand, is Jesus, the good shepherd! Calling by name! Leading out! Going ahead!

Example versus gift! Commandment verses promise! Law verses love! And only one brings life! Brings it abundantly, extravagantly, even prodigally!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the third sunday of easter
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 11:53

the PRAYER...
O God, your Son makes himself known to all his disciples in the breaking of bread. Open the eyes of our faith, that we may see him in his redeeming work, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
When [Jesus] was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.

Luke 24:13-35

the DEVOTION...
It's not the way I'd do it... not if I was Jesus! If I had suffered all he'd suffered and been crucified and died and buried and descended to the dead, you can be sure that when I rose, I'd want people to know about it! Times Square! That's where I'd appear! At rush hour! Surrounded by angels! Lots and lots of angels! And everyone would see!

However, according to the story, Jesus is a little more modest than me! A bit more reserved! One woman, here! A small group, there! This week, it's two men - one known, the other not - walking along a road. Jesus joins them. Accompanies them on their journey. Enters into the conversation. In the end, they share a meal. Simple hospitality. Common courtesy. Jesus says grace and it suddenly dawns on them who he is! Maybe it's the tone of his voice! The tilt of his head! The way he holds the bread! Whatever it is, their eyes are opened and they recognize him! Know him! But the moment they do, he vanishes! Just a peek, nothing more! A glimpse! No. It's not the way I'd do it... not if I was Jesus...

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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