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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
 
Getting Out the WORD - the tenth sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 09:07

 

the PRAYER. . .

 

O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

the READING. . .

 

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. . . ."  (matthew 16:13-20 )

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

Any time I read the words, to be honest, I never give them a second thought! After all, a disciple by any other name. . . Simon Bar-Jonah! Simon Jonah-son! Simon Mac-Jonah! It’s all the same. A name is a name is a name. But what if. . .

 

What if the words are more adjective than noun? More description than name? What if Jesus is saying, “Blessed are you, Simon. . . You’re so Jonah!” Faithful, but within limits! Committed, but only so far! Believing, but on your own terms! When told what to do, you go as far and as fast as you can. . . IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!

 

“Who is the Son of Man,” asks Jesus. The persecuted one! The martyr! The servant!

“And me? Who am I?” The kingdom? The power? And the glory?

 

Oh Simon! Simon! Simon! You really are so-like-Jonah!


bob barndt, pastor
 
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
 
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