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Getting Out the WORD - the fifth sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 10:19

the PRAYER. . .

Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death.  Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING. . .

 

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. . . .” (john 11:1-45 )

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

Dad was in back developing pictures and, as usual, mom - well into her bout with Alzheimer’s Disease - was pacing the floor. I was waiting on one of our "regulars" who, looking at her, said to me, “There but for the grace of God go you and I.” I’d heard the words before. I’d, even, used them a time or two. But I never really thought much about them. This time, though, I was shocked by what they inferred. . . My mom was the way she was because god didn’t love her! Didn't love her, at least, the way god loved that customer and me! “. . . but for the grace of God. . . .”


Sounds a lot like Martha and Mary. . . “Lord, if you would have been here. . . .” But the truth is that sometimes bad things happen to good people. . . to ordinary people. . . to people god loves deeply. . . for no good reason! People get sick! People suffer! Sometimes, they, even, die! But that doesn't mean god no longer cares. god still loves them! Always has! Always will! It’s just that they - and we with them - live in a broken world. A world that doesn’t always work the way we'd like it to!  Or the way, for that matter, god would like it to!


But, then, that's why there's a Palm Sunday!  And a Maundy Thursday! And a Good Friday! And an Easter morning! This is god’s fresh start! This is god’s new beginning!  This is god's time to take away the stone and raise up the Lazarus in us all!

 

bob barndt, pastor
 
Getting Out the WORD - the fourth sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 21:11

 

the PRAYER. . .


Bend your ear to our prayers, Lord Christ, and come among us.  By your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with your Spirit, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING. . .

"As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him!"

 

the DEVOTION. . .

So, why do bad things happen to good people? Why, for that matter, do bad things happen, at all? For those of us who believe in a loving god, that’s the $64,000 question. Earthquakes? Tidal waves? Wild fires? Droughts? And what about that "man blind from birth"? Why?


The disciples looked for cause-and-effect. Who sinned? Who fell short? Who didn't measure up? Him? His parents? But the truth of the matter is that faith isn't about finding fault or placing blame. It’s about opportunity! Each "sin" is a chance to show mercy! Each “flaw” compassion! Each "failing" grace!


Faith isn’t about asking the “Why?”  Rather, it’s about living the “What now?”

bob barndt, pastor

 
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