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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

 
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

 
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