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Getting Out the WORD - the ninth sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:00

the PRAYER. . .

God of all peoples, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you.  Teach us as disciples of your Son to love the world with compassion and constancy, that your name may be known throughout the earth, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

the READING. . .

 

Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand:  it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles."  Then the disciples approached and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?"  He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.  Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit."  But Peter said to him, "Explain this parable to us."  Then he said, "Are you also still without understanding?  Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?  But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles.  For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.  These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile." (matthew 15 . 10-28)

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

Oh, there was a time!  A time when faith. . .  when believing. . .  was such a simple thing!  What made a person holy (or not) were the things - the religious things - they did (or didn't do)!  Saying their prayers!  Going to church!  Reading the bible!  And what made some people holier than others was that they did these things more!  Oh, there was a time!  And everyone agree!

 

But then along came Jesus.  He didn't talk much about praying.  Not really.  He didn't talk about going to worship or reading the bible.  Instead, he talked about love!  What matters most, he said, is what we do - or don't do - for the people around us!  Faith. . .  believing. . .  is still simple!  It's just that it all gets a little more. . .  well, a little more complicated!

 

It's not what goes into the mouth that defiles; it's what comes out of the heart!  It's not what we do for god that's important; it's what we do for each other!


bob barndt, pastor
 
Getting Out the WORD - the eighth sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Thursday, 11 August 2011 14:03

the PRAYER. . .

 

O God our defender, storms rage around and within us and cause us to be afraid.  Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


the READING. . .

 

When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.  And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.  But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!"  And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."    (matthew 14:22-33 )

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

“Parents are not interested in justice; they‘re interested in peace and quiet!” ...  at least, from Bill Cosby's perspective! And, as a parent myself, I have to admit, there are times... Unfortunately, we could just as easily apply that observation to the church. "Peace and quiet at all costs!" seems to be our mantra. And passages like this one from Matthew reinforce the misconception. Storms rage. Winds push. Waves punish. Jesus appears! And, wonder of wonders... miracle of miracles... it all goes away!

 

Truth is, Jesus isn't interested in peace and quiet. He’s interested only in justice! Justice not in a John Wayne or Gary Cooper kind of way. But justice in the sense of honesty and compassion! Justice of a god's charity and god's mercy sort! And, sometimes... sometimes, when you do that, you CAUSE the storm! Sometimes, justice brings not peace and quiet, but conflict... and division... and sometimes...  sometimes, justice brings, even, a cross...

bob barndt, pastor

 
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