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Getting Out the WORD - the third sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 12:10

 

the PRAYER. . .


Merciful God, the fountain of living water, you quench our thirst and wash away our sin.  Give us this water always.  Bring us to drink from the well that flows with the beauty of your truth through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING. . .

Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you speaking with her?’

(john 4:5-42 )

the DEVOTION. . .

 

The last the disciples had seen Jesus, it was about noon. He was beside the well. Alone. They were going to the city, we’re told, to buy food while Jesus stayed behind. But when they got back. . . Well, ‘John’ says they were astonished! A better word might be dumbfounded... or flabbergasted... or even, flummoxed (I just found that one in the thesaurus!)... What did the man think he was doing! It was bad enough to be talking with a Samaritan! But with a WOMAN! It just wasn’t done! What would people think! What would they say! God forbid, what would they do!


And, then, came that amazing phrase... but no one said, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you speaking with her?’” No one looked beyond. No one went deeper.  "What is this?" “What does this mean?”


Sometimes, appearances aren’t everything. Sometimes, there’s more than meets the eye.  And sometimes faith happens. . . in the most unexpected of places... between the most unlikely of people...


bob barndt, pastor

 
Getting Out the WORD - the second sunday in Lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 08:57

 

the PRAYER. . .

O God, our leader and guide, in the waters of baptism you bring us to new birth to live as your children.  Strengthen our faith in your promises, that by your Spirit we may lift up your life to all the world through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING. . .

"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

(john 3:1-17 )

the DEVOTION. . .

A friend came to visit W.C. Fields in the hospital shortly before he died, and was amazed to find the comedian reading a Bible. "I didn't know you were religious," the friend said. "I'm not," Fields replied, "I’m looking for loopholes!" Fields was looking for loopholes to get in! Unfortunately, we, on the other hand, spend most of our time looking for loopholes to keep people out!


Along comes a verse like John 3:16 overflowing with grace and mercy. And what do we do? We walk around the “For-God-so-loved-the-world” and step over the “may-not-perish-but-have-eternal-life” and glom onto the believing! Who's good enough?  Who's deserving?  Who's worth it?  Faith becomes our loophole! If a person trusts, they’re in! If not, well. . . too bad, so sad. They had their chance.


But, it’s as if “John” knew what we would do! So, to make sure we heard what he was saying. . . to make certain we understood what he meant. . . he added one more verse, in some ways, more important than the first. . .

 

John 3:16 +1. . .

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. . . ."                YES!  IT SHALL BE SO!

bob barndt, pastor

 
Getting Out the WORD - the first sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Thursday, 17 March 2011 17:41

the PRAYER. . .

Lord God, our strength, the struggle between good and evil rages within and around us, and the devil and all the forces that defy you tempt us with empty promises.  Keep us steadfast in your word, and when we fall, raise us again and restore us through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING. . .

 

"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. . . ." (matthew 4 . 1-11)

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

Hollywood could have done it so much better. Flashes of lightening! Claps of thunder! Earthquakes! Volcanoes! Meteors!  Then, with a dramatic crescendo, from out of smoke and flame, steps the Tempter! It takes my breath away just thinking of what it could have been. Now, THAT would be a temptation!


Matthew, on the other hand. . . well. . . There’s not much to it. Quiet. Restrained. Not an exclamation mark anywhere. The ‘i’s are all dotted. ‘T’s crossed. A place for everything and everything in its place. "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. . . .” It’s more an "inducement" than a real, honest-to-god temptation.


But, then, maybe Matthew knows something we don’t. Like when the times are that we’re most vulnerable! Or when the moments are that we’re most exposed! When we’re most likely take god – god and god’s gifts – most for granted! Maybe it IS when grammar is at its best and all the words are spelled correctly that temptation truly comes!


bob barndt, pastor

 
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