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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. . .

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

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