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Getting Out the WORD - the nineteenth sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Friday, 28 October 2011 10:00

the PRAYER. . .

O Lord God, you are the holy lawgiver, you are the salvation of your people. By your Spirit renew us in your covenant of love, and train us to care tenderly for all our neighbors, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

 

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question:  What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he? They said to him, "The son of David."  He said to them, "How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
'The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet" '?
If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?"  No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.          (
Matthew 22: 34-46)

 

the DEVOTION. . .


Well, this past week has been like pulling teeth!  I thought two extra days of thinking might help.  It hasn't!  You see, last Sunday, I preached on the first half of the gospel reading - Matthew 22 . 34-40 - the part about the greatest commandment.  That left the second half - Jesus' question to the Pharisees about the Messiah - for this devotion!  And after a week and a half of reading. . .  and studying. . .  and mulling it over. . .  After ten days of writing. . .  and rewriting. . .  and rewriting some more. . .  I've, finally, given up!

Sometimes, a message springs from scripture loud and clear, without any effort!  The gospel jumps right off the page!  But at other times. . .  times like this. . .  try as you will, you hear nothing at all.  The thing I realized this week is that not all verses are created equal!  And the good news doesn't shine the same through every jot and tittle.  Sometimes what "spoke" to the church at another time. . .  in another place. . .  we just don't "get."  Some verses are John 3 .16s!  Some are Twenty-Third Psalms!  But, then, some are just, plain, old Matthew 22 .34s.

So, what do you do. . .  when you don't understand. . .  when you can't "hear" anything. . .  What do you do at times like this. . .  You read the passage and remember what's important!  You read the passage and remember what matters!  "In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us and for his sake, God forgives us!  Forgives us each and every!  Forgives us one and all!"  And, then, you continue on. . .  reading. . .  and studying. . .  and mulling it over. . .

bob barndt, pastor
 
Getting Out the WORD - the eighteenth sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 11:10

the PRAYER. . .

Sovereign God, raise your throne in our hearts.  Created by you, let us live in your image; created for you, let us act for your glory; redeemed by you, let us give you what is yours, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

the READING. . .

 

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap [Jesus] in what he said.  So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians. . . . (Matthew 22:15-22 )

 

the DEVOTION. . .


After all this time, it still amazes me. . .  how something we've read so often and know so well, can still sneak up and surprise us!  Like Matthew 22 . 15 & 16. . .

"The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap [Jesus] in what he said. So they sent their disciples. . . ."

"The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap [Jesus] in what he said. . .
SO INSTEAD OF GOING THEMSELVES. . .
THEY SENT THEIR DISCIPLES TO DO IT!"

It's a simple thing to tear something, someone, down.  And, frankly, it's relatively safe to do.  Remaining in the background.  Hiding in the shadows.  Distant.  Detached.  Above it all.   Pulling strings. Minions. . .  Henchmen. . .  Pawns. . .  doing the dirty work!

But saving. . .  redeeming. . .  That's something else. . .  It requires one-on-one!  Toe-to-toe!  Hand-to-hand!  Face-to-face!  In order to save, to redeem, you have to do it yourself!  First person, not third!  Neck sticking out!  Dirty hands!  Paying the price!  Not with pieces of silver, but with blood and sweat and tears!

Yes, there was quite a difference. . .  between the conspirators and the redeemer!  But, then, there always will be!

bob barndt, pastor

 
Getting Out the WORD - the seventeenth sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 10:45

the PRAYER. . .

 

Lord of the feast, you have prepared a table before all peoples and poured out your life with abundance.  Call us again to your banquet.  Strengthen us by what is honorable, just, and pure, and transform us into a people of righteousness and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

the READING. . .

 

"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son.  He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. . . .  The king was enraged.  He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. . . ."    (Matthew 22:1-14)

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

To us, it’s nothing more than a thought. . . an idea. . . a few words written down on paper. . .


The king was enraged.  He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.”

 

But, for Matthew, it was life. After a century of occupation by Rome. . . after generations of pain and suffering. . . the Jews, finally, struck back. But seven years later, the Temple was destroyed. Jerusalem lay in ruins. And Judea – the land of the Jews – was no more. Now, officially, it was Palestine - the land of the Philistines. From archeological evidence, not one synagogue – NOT ONE, SINGLE SYNAGOGUE – was left standing. Countless killed. Innumerable enslaved. Those who remained fled. It’s hard to comprehend. The damage. The devastation. But Matthew was there. He watched as it happen.

 

Why? For Matthew, the reason was clear. . .  the “invited” refused to attend “the banquet”! “The chosen” had other, better things to do! And the "king" was angry! For us, though, it’s much simpler than that. We fall short! We miss the mark. And for that. . . for, even, that. . . Jesus Christ was given. . . .

bob barndt, pastor

 
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