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Getting Out the WORD - the third sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 09:48

the PRAYER. . .

You are great, O God, and greatly to be praised. You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant that we may believe in you, call upon you, know you, and serve you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.   (matthew 11:16-19 , 25-30)

the DEVOTION. . .

This past Sunday morning, I was sitting on a pew in Zion Lutheran Church/Johnstown, PA and, as best as I could remember, it'd been almost fifty years since I did that.  But... up front... off to the side... it was STILL there!  The font where I was baptized 56 years ago, almost to the day! The font where my brother had been baptized!  Where my mom!  My aunts! Uncle! Cousins!  All had been baptized!  The same one... well, that one had been destroyed along with the rest of the building back in the Flood of 1889.  But this was the church in which my grandfather was baptized six score and seventeen years ago!

"... hidden from the wise and the intelligent and revealed to infants..."

Baptized, June 19, 1955...  Then, all those years of Sunday school...  of Confirmation... Seminary...  But it didn't dawn on me until that moment...  Faith doesn't come from what we know.  Doesn't come from what we know any more than it comes from what we don't!  It's conceived in a handful of water!  Born in mouth full of words...  God calls us...  gathers us...  And at the font, makes us a promise! "From this moment, you are mine! And no matter how far you go! No matter how long you're gone! You will always be mine!  Just as I will forever be yours!"

No. Faith isn't something we learn, then live by.  It's something that happens only when god loves us! "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!"

bob barndt, pastor

 
Getting Out the WORD - the second sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:20

the PRAYER. . .

 

O God, you direct our lives by your grace, and your words of justice and mercy reshape the world. Mold us into a people who welcome your word and serve one another, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

the READING. . .

 

[Jesus said to the twelve:] “. . . whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” (matthew 10 . 40-42)

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

If you’re reading this devotion online, chances are good that, at one time or another, you’ve received one of those ever-present emails.  Emails that, basically, have nothing to do with anything at all! The kind that appears out of nowhere, at which you might glance, and, then, send off somewhere into cyberspace!

 

A while back, I got one from a friend that contained just a quote – two quotes, actually – from Adam Smith, a philosopher who lived in Scotland about the time of the American Revolution. We know him as the “father” of capitalism. The quotes were from his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter I, Part II. . .

 

“Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.” and “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”

 

I’ve thought a lot about those words as debates about the economy - especially about the deficit -  are heating up. And, they came to mind, again, this morning, when I saw that last verse of this week’s reading. “. . . whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones. . . .” And I wondered. . .

 

Not as republicans or democrats. . . Not as liberals or as conservatives. . . but, simply, as people struggling to become what god has made us. . . Who have we – the Church – been “instituted” to defend?  And against whom are we to defend them? At a time like this. . . in a place like this place. . . What would Jesus do? At a time like this. . . in a place like this place. . . What has Jesus, already, done?

bob barndt, pastor

 
Getting Out the WORD - the holy trinity
Written by Pastor Bob   
Thursday, 23 June 2011 14:00

the PRAYER. . .

Almighty Creator and ever-living God: we worship your glory, eternal Three-in-One, and we praise your power, majestic One-in-Three. Keep us steadfast in this faith, defend us in all adversity, and bring us at last into your presence, where you live in endless joy and love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING. . .

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."                 (matthew 28:16-20 )

the DEVOTION. . .

Rugged American Individualism! At least, that's what Herbert Hoover called it. It's a self-sufficient. . . self-reliant. . . by your bootstraps kind of thing. Do anything. Become anyone. All you have to do is put your mind to it. Your mind to it and your back into it. Unfortunately, when Rugged American Individualism comes in contact with faith. . . Well, more often than not, confusion results. Take, for instance, the last verse in Matthew's gospel. . .

"And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Jesus wasn't talking to any ONE, in particular. To Peter. . . or James. . . or John. . . He was talking to the Eleven! To ALL the Eleven together! He was talking to a group! To a congregation! To a church! And he says,"Remember, I am with Y'ALL!" Faith, like life, isn't about me. Faith is NEVER about me! But it's always about us!

The gospel truth is that no one lives just for himself. . . or for herself. . . We live for each other! No one is an individual! Not even god! God may be one god! But god, for us, is three persons! Father! Son! Spirit! "Remember," Jesus says, "We are with you. . . We are with y'all. . . now and forever!"

bob barndt, pastor
 
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