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Getting Out the WORD - the sixth sunday after epiphany
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:22

the PRAYER. . .

O God, the strength of all who hope in you, because we are weak mortals we accomplish nothing good without you.  Help us to see and understand the things we ought to do, and give us grace and power to do them, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

[Jesus said to the disiples:]  "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgement.'  But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool', you will be liable to the hell of fire (or gehenna)...."                   (matthew 5:21-37 )

the DEVOTION. . .

 

"Blah, blah, blah. . .  JUDGMENT!  Blah, blah, blah. . .  HELL!  Blah, blah, blah. . .  CUT IT OFFTHROW IT AWAY!  LUSTADULTERYDIVORCE!”  To be honest, that's about all we get out of this particular passage.  The words jump out at us!  They shake us! Unnerve us!  But when all is said, that's what we remember!

 

We’re drawn like moths.  Hypnotized.  Fascinated.  Fire and brimstone!  Hell and damnation!  Because we can point fingers?  Because we squirm?  What we want?  What we expect?  Whatever the reason, in the end, we totally and completely miss the most important word of all. . .

 

. . .  JESUS!  "God SAVES!"  "God REDEEMS!"  "God DELIVERS!"   As happened in the flood. . .  and the mud pits. . .  and every time god's people were captive or bound. . .  every time they fell short or missed the mark. . . so god does, once again!  And again!  And again!  And again! So god does, even, now! God SAVES! God REDEEMS! God DELIVERS!

 

Such a simple name.  But it makes all the difference!

 

bob barndt, pastor

 
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
 
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