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Getting Out the WORD - the fifth sunday after the epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 14:30

the PRAYER. . .

Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint.  Make us agents of your healing and wholeness,
that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.  Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once.  He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. . . .    (Mark 1:29-39 )

the DEVOTION. . .

 

More often than not, “doing theology” - for those in the pulpit, as well as those in the pews - is a lot like making a quilt.  We haul out the bible and carefully go through all the verses, setting aside just the right swatches. Then, we cut. And we trim. And we sew! And when we’re done, we have something to keep us warm at night. But, it's rare to stumble across that one, special piece. . . that one, unique verse. . . that has it all! That stands on its own! That doesn’t need our help!

 

Mark 1:31 : Jesus comes to Simon's mother-in-law.  He takes her by the hand; lifts her up.  And immediately, she begins to serve!

 

Simon's mother-in-law. . . I wish we knew her name. . . Simon’s mother-in-law is in bed with a fever. But Jesus comes! And he takes her by the hand! Lifts her up! And immediately she begins serving! She’s lifted up! She’s healed! Saved!  By god's grace!  Christ’s compassion!  But that’s just half of it! Simon’s mother-in-law is lifted up! She's healed! Saved! AND IMMEDIATELY, SHE BEGINS TO SERVE! Immediately, she goes and does the same!

 

The reason for believing isn’t "going to church"! It’s not, even, "going to heaven"! Not first! Not foremost! The reason for believing is going to the people around us! To the people who need us! Right here! Right now!


bob barndt, pastor

 
Getting Out the WORD - the fourth sunday after the epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 10:11

the PRAYER. . .

Compassionate God, you gather the whole universe into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior.  Bring wholeness to all that is broken and speak truth to us in our confusion, that all creation will see and know your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.  They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. . . ."        (Mark 1:21-28 )

the DEVOTION. . .

 

By New Years, 1989, the Bust had, finally, caught up with us.  The price of oil was down.  That of potash was, even, lower.  Unemployment, if I remember correctly, hit 16%.  So, it was time.  I packed my bags.  I went home.  Unfortunately, it wasn't any better there.  My brother was in the hospital recuperating from a car wreck.  Dad had "double" pneumonia.  And, within a week or two of my return, my mom would be diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.  Week after week, I went to church with one simple request:  Redeem me!  Give me a reason - any reason - to get out of bed tomorrow!  It wasn't a happy time.  But it was when I learned the difference between simply preaching a sermon and proclaiming the gospel.

 

Preaching is just talking; proclaiming is saying something!  Preaching spouts clichés and platitudes; proclaiming announces the reign of god!  Preaching entertains (or bores – two sides of the same coin); proclaiming in-spirits and in-courages!  Preaching amuses.  It distracts.  But when the gospel is proclaimed, things happen!  The heavens are torn in two!  Demons run away!  The lame dance!  The mute sing!  The dead rise!  And world is changed forever!  Created!  Revived!  Restored!

 

Christ taught - and lived - "as one having authority"!  And because of that, the church – you and I – are chosen to do the same!

bob barndt, pastor

 
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