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Getting Out the WORD - the fifth sunday after epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 11:43

 

the PRAYER. . .

Lord God, with endless mercy you receive the prayers of all who call upon you.  By your Spirit show us the things we ought to do, and give us the grace and power to do them, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.              (matthew 5:13 )

the DEVOTION. . .


Yes, I know!  It’s still winter!  And yes, I realize!  This is West Texas!  But I have to tell you, this winter stuff is getting old!  Another record low this morning!  One more coming up tomorrow!  And we're not even halfway through February!  But, I guess, the good news is that we don’t have to shovel it. . .  at least, not this time!


And Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.”


This morning, after stepping on a little patch of ice on the driveway, I realized something. . .  Not all salt makes it into cut glass shakers on fancy tables in exclusive restaurants!   Sometimes – maybe, even, most of the time – it’s just “thrown out” and “trampled under foot”!  Thrown out onto roadways and bridges and trampled under foot on sidewalks!  Not because there’s anything “wrong” with it!  Not because it’s, somehow, lost its saltiness.  But because it’s doing what only salt can do! Thawing snow!  Melting ice!  Protecting!  Rescuing!  Redeeming!  It may not be a “glorious” purpose.  But it is a necessary one. . .  especially this time of year!


And Jesus said, “You. . .  y’ALL. . .  are the salt of the earth!”

 

bob barndt, pastor
 
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
 
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