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getting out the WORD - the fifth sunday of easter
Written by Pastor Bob   
Thursday, 18 May 2017 11:59

the PRAYER...
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Give us grace to love one another, to follow in the way of his commandments, and to share his risen life with all the world, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

John 14:1-14

We do it so well... confess sin, that is! So serious. So heartfelt. Bowing heads. Folding hands. After a bad week, maybe, even, closing our eyes. A moment of silence. Then, we speak. "Almighty God, our Maker and Redeemer, we poor sinners confess unto thee, that we are by nature sinful and unclean...." Of course, the King's English adds to the affect. "Wherefore we flee for refuge to thine infinite mercy, seeking and imploring thy grace...." Confession à la the old red hymnal! Beggars! Helpless! Needy!

Unfortunately, we never seem to move on from there. Always the sinner; never the saint. Believing we're forgiven! That we're different! Changed! Walking through life, head bowed, hands folded. Humble. Modest. Unassuming. Apologizing each time someone else bumps into us. But we're more than that! Better than that! "The one who believes in me will, also, do the works that I do...

and, in fact, will do even greater...."

Bob Barndt, pastor

getting out the WORD - the fourth sunday of easter
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 19:15

the PRAYER...
O God our shepherd, you know your sheep by name and lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, 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 said:] "Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

John 10:1-10

For the good doctor, there are only two ways of looking at Jesus - either as example or as gift. The first option is all about us. Our thoughts and words and deeds! All shoulds and oughts and musts. Our life - according to this way of thinking - is about us. But that second way - as gift - is all about god! Grace and mercy! Forgiveness and love! Unearned! Undeserved! Unconditional! Our life is in god's hands! Certain and sure! Always! Forever!

And I wonder if Luther didn't get that view, here, from this week's gospel. On the one hand, there are the strangers and the bandits and the thieves who take the kingdom by violence, force; stealing, killing, destroying. On the other hand, is Jesus, the good shepherd! Calling by name! Leading out! Going ahead!

Example versus gift! Commandment verses promise! Law verses love! And only one brings life! Brings it abundantly, extravagantly, even prodigally!

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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