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getting out the WORD - the 14th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 13:01

the PRAYER...
O Lord God, enliven and preserve your church with your perpetual mercy. Without your help, we mortals will fail; remove far from us everything that is harmful, and lead us toward all that gives life and salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

Matthew 18:15-20

the DEVOTION...
"With these words God wants to attract us, so that we come to believe God is truly our Father and we are truly God's children, in order that we may ask God boldly and with complete confidence, just as loving children ask their loving father." The words to which Luther refers are, of course, "Our Father who art in heaven..."

You see, prayer is more than the words we say or how we say them. Heads bowed. Eyes closed. Hands folded. The essence - the soul - of prayer is faith! It's believing god loves us! Believing god cares! That god, always and forever, has our best interests at heart! Unfortunately, that piece, more often than not, is missing. Don't get me wrong! We believe in the power of prayer; we just have a problem with the love part! We forget it! We overlook it! We misplace it!

Truth is, god provides everything for everyone without prayer! That's what love does! What kind of parent gives a snake when asked for a fish? Or a rock when asked for bread? And what kind of parent does nothing... until two agree about anything?

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the 13th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Thursday, 07 September 2017 21:10

the PRAYER...
O God, we thank you for your Son, who chose the path of suffering for the sake of the world. Humble us by his example, point us to the path of obedience, and give us strength to follow your commands, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

Matthew 16:21-28

the DEVOTION...
The last song, Sunday morning, has stayed with me, this week. "Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus." We've sung it before. But for some reason, this time's been different. As hymns go, it's, pretty much, what you'd expect. Walking with Jesus! Suffering with Jesus! Dying and rising with the Savior! But by the time we finished singing, I'm not sure I agreed with the message.

You see, in the hymn, carrying the cross is nothing more than a temporary inconvenience. Something we do, simply, to win the prize. Deny ourselves! Take up our cross! Lose our life! And when everything is done and said, we pass on to heaven leaving the cross behind us.

But what if the cross is intended to be something more? What if it's meant to be the end in and of itself? What if suffering for others is enough? What if the sacrifice we make to set others free is more than enough! What if being able to carry the cross IS the prize! Dying so that someone else lives? What if the cross - that is, loving just like Jesus - IS the reward itself?

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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