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getting out the WORD - the third sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 15:42

the PRAYER...
Holy God, through your Son you have called us to live faithfully and act courageously. Keep us steadfast in your covenant of grace, and teach us the wisdom that comes only through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
[Jesus] told those who were selling the doves, "Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father's house a marketplace!"

John 2:13-22

the DEVOTION...
"Run the church like a business," they say! "Live within your means!" Balanced budgets! Fiscal responsibility! And after going on four decades of ministry, I, certainly, appreciate the advice. Even the church can't spend what it doesn't have, right? Unfortunately, the church isn't a business. It's the church. And Jesus' counsel, this week: "Don't make my Father's house a shopping mall!" No selling! No trading! No bargains! No deals! "In my Father's house," Jesus says, "there are no price tags! Everything - EVERYTHING - is free!"

It's all a gift, here in the church! Faith! Hope! Love! Especially the love! It's all given out of the goodness and greatness of god's own heart. Not goods or merchandise or commodities bought with time or talent or treasure, but a gift! A gift from god! Balance the budget! Make ends meet! But even more, don't make the church a marketplace! Just let the church be what it is! The church!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the second sunday in lent
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 14:27

the PRAYER...
O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life. Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
"Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

Mark 8:31-38

the DEVOTION...
For the biggest part of my ministry, I thought the shadow-side of believing was not-believing; that the opposite of faith was doubt. It's not. Control is. If I can't trust that someone will catch me, I'll make sure I never fall! Or, at the very least, make certain someone's around... just in case. It's not trust. You don't believe. You control.

And as a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, I learned, early on, there are certain verses in the bible - like this one, today - that are tailor-made to do the same thing, to control! Guilt and shame are strong motivators, powerful manipulators, and trust has nothing to do with it. Chapter and verse. Printed in red. But all things considered, I still can't imagine Jesus ever saying it! Suffering, crucified, dying, buried, descending. All while being betrayed, abandoned, denied. Yet, after three days, there he is, once again, in their midst with arms wide open! Forgiving! Forgetting! So why should, how could, our being embarrassed by, ashamed of, him, be any different? Love is love is love!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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