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getting out the WORD - the 6th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 08:52

the PRAYER...
Almighty God, we thank you for planting in us the seed of your word. By your Holy Spirit help us to receive it with joy, live according to it, and grow in faith and hope and love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea... .

Matthew 13:1-9 , Matthew 13:18-23

the DEVOTION...
It must be time... FOR A VACATION! To get out, get away! Seems all I've been thinking about, lately, are mountains... and forests... and lakes... and streams... All the things we don't have much of here in West Texas! So, I guess it should come as no surprise that the verse that caught my attention, this week, was the very first; the one about Jesus going out of the house and sitting by the sea!

So much of Jesus' ministry happens in the "wide open!" You can't tell the story, it seems, without it! But I can't help but think there's more to it than circumstance; that somehow "going out of the house and sitting by the sea" isn't a part of it all! Then, a few days ago, I tripped over a quote by Archie Ammons, an American poet, my dad's age. "In nature," he wrote, "there are few sharp lines!"

As people, we live in a world of lines, drawn straight and deep. Lines separating up and down, splitting left and right, isolating inside from out. But then, that's the same way we love, isn't it! By drawing lines! But none of that exists outside the house... sitting by the sea... So maybe Jesus isn't there out of coincidence. Or because he wasn't allowed in the synagogue. Or, even, because the crowds were, just, too big. Maybe he's there because it's the best place to talk about a love - that just like nature - has no sharp lines!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the 5th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:23

the PRAYER...
You are great, O God, and greatly to be praised. You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Grant that we may believe in you, call upon you, know you, and serve you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants..."

Matthew 11:16-19 , Matthew 11:25-30

the DEVOTION...
"Of all the paths you take in life," said John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, "make sure a few of them are dirt!" And most of my life, I've done my best to follow that advice! "The mountains are calling and I must go!"

But when I take to the dirt, there's a difference, whether I go alone or with others. When I hike by myself, I'm the one who sets the pace. Quick! Slow! Stop! Go! I choose! But when I'm with others, it's the slowest hiker who sets the pace for the entire group! Period! End of discussion! That's the only way to ensure no one's left behind! The only way everyone gets back in one piece!

And that's the rule of faith, as well. Faith isn't an individual pursuit, a prize that awaits the fastest or the strongest or the bravest - or, even, the wisest and most intelligent. Faith is the reason we look to the lowest and the least among us! Not just because that's what Jesus did, what Jesus still does. But because, you see, if they make it across the finish line, we know we'll all be there!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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