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Getting Out the WORD - the eighth week after epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 00:00

the PRAYER. . .

God of tender care, like a mother, like a father, you never forget your children, and you know already what we need.  In all our anxiety give us trusting and faithful hearts, that in confidence we may embody the peace and justice of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

"[Jesus said to the disciples:]  No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." (matthew 6:24-34 )

the DEVOTION. . .

Maybe it’s because I’m an American. Baseball and apple pie! Life, liberty, and the pursuit! Land of the free! Liberty and justice for all! Or, maybe it’s because “We. . . have never been slaves to anyone!” Whatever the reason, when I read the words, I always hear someone behind me whispering, “So pick one! Choose! Decide! No one can serve two masters!  So, which one will it be? God?  Or wealth?”


But, this morning, it dawned on me. . . Slaves don’t pick their masters! They CAN’T pick their masters! They’re SLAVES! It’s the MASTERS that do the picking! Jesus is simply making an observation. . . merely stating a fact. . . “No one can serve two masters.” Period.


Everyone is a slave. Some to one thing. Some to another. But, as the church, we are bound. . . we are captive. . . to God! Slaves to mercy! To compassion! To faith and hope and love! And the good news? The really, good news? No one – not even us – can serve more than one master at a time!  Period!

bob barndt, pastor

 
Getting Out the WORD - the seventh sunday after epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 10:57

 

the PRAYER. . .

Holy God of compassion, you invite us into your way of forgiveness and peace.  Lead us to love our enemies, and transform our words and deeds to be like his through whom we pray, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'  But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.  Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you."                  (matthew 5:38-48 )

the DEVOTION. . .

Well, I read through the words once. . .  twice. . .  three times. . . And even after all that, I, still, can’t believe he said it! Surely, he doesn’t mean it! Surely, he doesn’t expect us to take him seriously!  "DO NOT RESIST AN EVILDOER?" What kind of "suggestion" is that?!? It just doesn’t make any sense!


What are we supposed to do. . . to people who threaten us. . . who put our life. . .  the lives of our nearest and dearest. . .  in jeopardy. . .  at risk?  !  Turn the other cheek?!? Go the extra mile? !? Give the shirt off our back?!? Does Jesus really, truly expect us to forgive them? Even, love them?  With that kind of advice, sooner or later, we’ll all end up hanging from crosses!


“Be perfect,” says Jesus, “as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


bob barndt, pastor

 
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