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getting out the WORD - the 5th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:23

the PRAYER...
You are great, O God, and greatly to be praised. You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant that we may believe in you, call upon you, know you, and serve you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants..."

Matthew 11:16-19 , Matthew 11:25-30

the DEVOTION...
"Of all the paths you take in life," said John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, "make sure a few of them are dirt!" And most of my life, I've done my best to follow that advice! "The mountains are calling and I must go!"

But when I take to the dirt, there's a difference, whether I go alone or with others. When I hike by myself, I'm the one who sets the pace. Quick! Slow! Stop! Go! I choose! But when I'm with others, it's the slowest hiker who sets the pace for the entire group! Period! End of discussion! That's the only way to ensure no one's left behind! The only way everyone gets back in one piece!

And that's the rule of faith, as well. Faith isn't an individual pursuit, a prize that awaits the fastest or the strongest or the bravest - or, even, the wisest and most intelligent. Faith is the reason we look to the lowest and the least among us! Not just because that's what Jesus did, what Jesus still does. But because, you see, if they make it across the finish line, we know we'll all be there!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the 4th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 15:02

the PRAYER...
O God, you direct our lives by your grace, and your words of justice and mercy reshape the world. Mold us into a people who welcome your word and serve one another, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
[Jesus said to the twelve:] "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me."

Matthew 10:40-42

the DEVOTION...
We christians are so good at being humble. Falling on our knees. Bowing our heads. Folding our hands. Modest. Unassuming. Deferential. What we somehow miss, though, is the truly great thing about faith. I'd been told, Luther called it "being LITTLE Christs to our neighbor." I recently found he never said that. He said, instead, "I will therefore give myself as Christ!" Not LITTLE, but Christ full-fledged, full-blown, full-sized!

So much of our time - here in the church - is spent wallowing in self-pity! So much so that we never move on to the real reason for Jesus! Not to save us from fire and brimstone; but save us from ourselves! So that we can, at last, do what god has wanted us to do, all along... give ourselves to others just like Jesus! Turning the other! Going the extra! Doing unto! Carrying our cross! Just imagine! Being created to be Jesus for this time, for this place! It's an amazing call! But then, if that's why we're here, it's no wonder we try so hard to be something we're not...

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the 3rd sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 00:00

the PRAYER...
Teach us, good Lord God, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, except that of knowing that we do your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
[Jesus said to the twelve:] "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Matthew 10:24-39

the DEVOTION...
Separation of church and state... abortion... homosexuality... evolution... birth control... Of course, that's only the beginning. The list goes on. So, when the church meets up with a verse like this - about bringing a sword and not peace - it has a way of sucking in the whole programme!

But when you get down to it, faith is, still, a pretty simple thing. It's believing god loves... period! All we have to do is look at Jesus! God loves us - all of us - so much that god's willing to do anything to be with us! Even suffer! Even die!

Bottom line, the thing that divides us, nowadays, isn't the rules and regulations we create. It's, actually, the love god shares! Some of us have a hard time believing god loves like god does! Turning the other! Going the extra! Doing unto! Pressing down! Shaking together! Overflowing! It's all just too good to be true! And you know what they say when something's too good to be true, you'll end up talking about anything but...

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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