getting out the WORD

the 12th sunday after pentecost

the PRAYER. . .

O God, you resist those who are proud and give grace to those who are humble. Give us the humility of your Son, that we may embody the generosity of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

[Jesus] said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind ….”

Luke 14:1, 7-14

the DEVOTION. . .

It’s amazing how quickly life returns to normal; at least, for those not directly involved in the tragedy. Last Saturday, just fifteen-or-so miles away, seven people were killed and twenty-two injured in a shooting rampage on the edge of Odessa and Midland. Now, less than four days later, here I am … Getting Out the WORD, as usual. This week, though, rather than reflecting on a handful of words from the bible, I’d like to share a few thoughts about Saturday – and all the Saturdays like it. No particular order, more a flow-of-consciousness …

  • Some things happen and god has nothing to do with it. Didn’t will it. Didn’t want it. Didn’t wish it. Doesn’t like it …
  • Some things happen that will never make any sense or have any meaning …
  • And even if there is a reason, it will do little to ease the pain or lessen the fear …
  • Sometimes – like now – there are no words and speaking only makes it worse …
  • When someone you know – someone you love – is torn from your life, there is no closure and there is no comfort. This is the shadow side of loving. You learn to live with it …
  • The perpetrator that caused it all, no matter how hard we try to make it not so, is still a human being just like us. Not a demon. Not an animal. Not evil incarnate …
  • The world isn’t getting worse. We’re not on the eve of destruction. This is, pretty much, the way it’s always been. That’s why we Christians believe we need saving …
  • The “Christian” response to any catastrophe – man-made or natural – begins and ends with Christ. Not with thoughts or prayers, but with “Jesus and his love” …
  • And as a pastor-friend from Odessa posted on his Facebook page, “In the face of death and destruction, I refuse to believe otherwise!” LOVE ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS WINS!       

Bob Barndt, pastor

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