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getting out the WORD - the seventh sunday of easter
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 15:50

the PRAYER...
O God of glory, your Son Jesus Christ suffered for us and ascended to your right hand. Unite us with Christ and each other in suffering and in joy, that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
"And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one."

John 17:1-11

Either you're for or against! Agree or you disagree! It's as if our whole world, right now, is being torn in two! Black-and-white! Nothing-or-all! And we're, even, doing it here in the church! Sheep and goats! Chaff and grain! Evil and good! One person, it seems, can't be saved, anymore, unless someone else is going to hell!

But what if faith - down-to-earth, honest-to-god believing - isn't so much about drawing lines, as it is erasing them? Building walls, as it is tearing walls down? And what if we, actually, mean what we say, Sunday morning after Sunday morning... that Christ's blood was "shed for [us] and for all people"?

Popular religion exists to divide creation and separate people! But faith - real faith and the love that conceives it - serves only to bring people - all people - together! What if when Jesus says all, he doesn't mean just some... or many... but what if he, really, does has everyone in mind?

Bob Barndt, pastor

getting out the WORD - the sixth sunday of easter
Written by Pastor Bob   
Thursday, 25 May 2017 10:25

the PRAYER...
Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

John 14:15-21

"I am small, my heart is pure. No one should dwell there but Jesus alone. Amen." That's the prayer I was taught as a toddler. The one I said, every night at bedtime. And looking at it, now, it sounds, pretty much, like the picture sketched by this week's gospel. "... and he [- the Spirit -] will be in you!" Dwelling there inside my heart!

At least, that's how I imagine it. But the words can, also, paint another picture. First, 'you' isn't singular! Individual! Particular! It's plural! The spirit will be in 'yinz' (as we said in western PA)! In 'y'all' (as we say here in West Texas)! And second, the Greek word 'in' can mean, not only inside, but between, as well! Among! Dwelling not, simply, inside me, but, more importantly, between us! The Spirit is the very thing that - the very person who - brings us together and keeps us that way!

The Spirit of truth isn't something - isn't someone - the Father sends to each person separately, on his own, all by herself. But something - someone - god sends us all! Together! At the same time! Where two or three are gathered! You see, in matters of faith, it's all about community! All about church!

Bob Barndt, pastor

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Today's Bible Reading

  • Psalm 6

    ​O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger,
    or discipline me in your wrath.
    Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
    O LORD, heal me, for my bones are shaking with...

Verse of the Day

  • Psalm 6

    ​My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O LORD — how long? Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

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