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Getting Out the WORD - the sunday of the passion
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 08:47

the PRAYER. . .


Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross.  In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING. . .

 

"Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split.  The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many."                                (matthew 27:11-54 )

 

the DEVOTION. . .

 

It seems like such a pitiful scene.  Jesus, bent and bowed, wilting on the cross before our eyes. Battered. Bloodied. Beaten. Life draining from him like sand through our fingers. And then come those words. . .  those last, awful words. . .  words that only make it worse. . .  "and he breathed his last. . ."

 

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper. . .*

 

But how wrong we are!  Lifted high on that cross, Jesus isn't the victim, but the victor!  Rather than "going gently," he is defiant to the bitter end!  With a cry - not of anguish, but of rapture - his hurls his breath at the Darkness and unleashes the Spirit into the Night!  In his suffering, creation is reborn!  In dying, the world lives again!

 

*from "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Eliot

bob barndt, pastor

 
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
 
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