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getting out the WORD - the sunday of the passion
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 14:26

the PRAYER...
Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."

Matthew 26:14-27:66

the DEVOTION...
It was one of the earliest controversies in the church... when, exactly, to celebrate Easter! Go with one, particular date - like December 25th - and it could fall on any day of the week. One thing most accepted, however, was that Easter had to be on a Sunday, the first day of the week, the Lord's day! But which one? Eventually, they came up with an agreement: the Sunday, following the full moon, after the Spring equinox... as observed in Jerusalem! Everything else could come from that. Good Friday. Maundy Thursday. Palm Sunday. Ash Wednesday. All you had to do was count backwards. Easter, though, was the key.

But you know, it's funny. Truth is, there wouldn't be an Easter if there hadn't, first, been a Good Friday! It's the cross that comes before! The cross that leads the way! That determines when the resurrection happens, not the other way around! Easter's important, don't get me wrong! Even essential! But maybe - just maybe - that Friday afternoon might just be more important, still!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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

the DEVOTION...
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

 
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