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Getting Out the WORD - the fourth sunday after epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:25

the PRAYER. . .

Holy God, you confound the world's wisdom in giving your kingdom to the lowly and the pure in heart.  Give us such a hunger and thirst for justice, and perseverance in striving for peace, that in our words and deeds the world may see the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.                     (matthew 5:11-12 )

the DEVOTION. . .

It's strange how those first eight "Blessed-are"s always make it onto the wall.  Cross-stitched.  Embroidered.  Calligraphied.  The poor in spirit. . .  Those who mourn. . .  The meek. . .  Those who hunger and thirst. . .  The merciful. . .  The pure in heart. . .  The peacemakers. . .  Even, the persecuted. . .  They’re all are there. . .  except that very last one. . .

"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account!"

Maybe it hits too close to home.  After all, it’s the only beatitude that points at us directly!  You!  You! You!  You!  Or maybe, we don’t want to hear it!  Church, after all, should be the place where dreams come true!  Where happily-ever-afters happen!  But the truth is. . .  when we “do unto others” what Christ has done – especially "unto" the ones that Christ did it unto – we can expect the same results!  There is an Easter. . .  but only after Good Friday!  There is an empty tomb. . .  but only after a cross!

Reviled?  Persecuted?  Slandered?  All because of whom we’ve loved?  May we be so lucky!

bob barndt, pastor
Getting Out the WORD - the third sunday after epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 15:07

the PRAYER. . .

Lord God, your lovingkindness always goes before us and follows after us.  Summon us into your light, and direct our steps in the ways of goodness that come through the cross of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.   (matthew 4:23 )

the DEVOTION. . .

Read a passage like this and it's tempting to pull out a map and begin to connect the dots.  Bethlehem to Egypt.  Egypt to Nazareth.  Nazareth to the Jordan to the Wilderness and back.  However, the gospel isn't about geography.  It's about god!  And as such, these words are meant to be a contrast - and a contradiction - to everything the People, once, held holy!

You see, in Jesus' day, according to popular opinion, God was rooted in Jerusalem!  God was anchored on Mt. Zion!  Held captive within the Holy-of-Holies!  Unable and unwilling to move!  It was the People who came to god!  Not god who went to the people.  "I was glad," sang the psalmist, "when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD!'"  Glad because that's where god could be found!  Where god could always be found!  Faithful!  Steadfast!  Immoveable!  But, now, there's Jesus...  going throughout Galilee...  teaching...  proclaiming...  curing...  not in Jerusalem...  not on Mt. Zion...  not in the Temple...  but "AMONG the people"!

Now, for us, in Christ, god is where we live and move and have our being!  The world becomes Jerusalem!  Our home becomes Mt. Zion!  And our life...  OUR life...  becomes the dwelling place!

bob barndt, pastor
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Today's Bible Reading

  • Psalm 6

    ​O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger,
    or discipline me in your wrath.
    Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
    O LORD, heal me, for my bones are shaking with...

Verse of the Day

  • Psalm 6

    ​My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O LORD — how long? Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

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