getting out the Word

the 13th sunday after pentecost

the PRAYER …

Holy God, your word feeds your people with life that is eternal. Direct our choices and preserve us in your truth, that, renouncing what is false and evil, we may live in you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING …

Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. john 6:56-69

the DEVOTION …

Sugar plums! That’s what the poet calls them! Visions of pure excitement! Of sheer pleasure! Of childlike wonder! I’ve never seen a sugar plum. Never ate one! But I know, exactly, what he’s talking about. Because here in the church, we have those same visions dancing around in our heads! Not just on Christmas eve, but each and every time we open the doors. We expect people – lots of people – to come in and fill the pews! And then, to put money – lots of money – in the offering plates! All we have to do is speak and administer the gospel. Do that and we live happily-ever-after. But we forget …

We forget when Jesus suffered and was crucified and died and was buried. We forget the centuries when the church had to hide in the catacombs. We forget the generations we lived on the fringes; when the world just didn’t want what we had. And we, especially, forget when many disciples heard what Jesus said … and turned … and, simply, walked away … Sure, every now and again, there may be those sugar plum moments. But more often than not, for the church, at least, there’s a cross. To pick up. To follow after.

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