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Getting Out the WORD - the twelfth sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 09:00

the PRAYER. . .

O Lord God, enliven and preserve your church with your perpetual mercy. Without your help, we mortals will fail; remove far from us everything that is harmful, and lead us toward all that gives life and salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

the READING. . .

 

[Jesus said to the disciples,] "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector..." (matthew 18 . 15-20)

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

Reasonable! Practical! Down-to-earth! You can't say that about too many passages in the bible! But this one's different! Someone from church hurts your feelings... Another member lets you down... What do you do? Apply Matthew, chapter 18, verses 15, 16, and 17, of course! One-on-one! Then, two-or-three-on-one! Finally, the-whole-church-on-one! Three strikes and they're out! Like I said, reasonable, practical, and very, very down-to-earth!

 

But, as I was reading this passage, there was another story that came to mind... one from John's gospel...

 

It's early in the morning. Jesus comes, again, to the temple, sits down, and starts teaching. A woman is brought to him. A woman caught in a "compromising" position. "Moses said to stone her," the scribes and Pharisees tell Jesus. "What do you say?" Jesus bends over... writes in the dirt... thinking... After a moment, he sits back up...

 

"I say let anyone among you who is without sin throw the first stone."

 

He bends back over and continues scribbling in the dust... And slowly... one... by one... by one... the accusers turn and walk away.


"Woman," asks Jesus, "has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she says. "Then, neither do I," says Jesus. "Neither do I..."

 

In the church, there's practical. And, then, there's the gospel!


bob barndt, pastor
 
Getting Out the WORD - the eleventh sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 09:35

the PRAYER. . .

 

O God, we thank you for your Son, who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world.  Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

the READING. . .

 

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.  For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?  For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. . . ." (matthew 16:21-28 )

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

For a moment, Matthew stood on holy ground. . .  looking into the eyes of god. . .  gazing into god's very soul. . .  And, for a moment, he “beheld” the mystery. . .  the majesty. . .  the meaning. . .  "For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." He saw the promise!  Heard the hope!  “Love is in the dying!  Life in the sacrifice!”

 

But then, for some reason, he blinked. . .  he flinched. . .  he ran away. . .  Retreating to what he already knew. . . Withdrawing to what he already believed. . .  "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. . ." No losing!  No finding!  No loving!  Just more of what has always been.

 

But what if. . . What if the Son of Man returns as the Son of Man lived. . .  returns as the Son of Man left. . .  denying himself and taking up his cross. . .  one more time?!?


bob barndt, pastor
 
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