getting out the WORD - the seventh sunday of easter PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
Gracious and glorious God, you have chosen us as your own, and by the powerful name of Christ you protect us from evil. By your Spirit transform us and your beloved world, that we may find our joy in 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...
[Jesus said:] "I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one."

John 17:6-19

Open the newspaper, any given morning, turn to the obits, and, chances are, you'll see phrases you won't find anywhere else. "...joined her savior..." "...went home to be with the Lord..." "...gained his angel wings..." It's all part of that "popular" religion we pick up on the streets, that we "catch" from the world around us. Pie in the sky, it's been called. Up Jacob's ladder! Through the pearly gates! Onto the streets of gold! And it's so much a part of us, it's hard to imagine anything else.

And this week, if you're like me, the one request Jesus makes, probably, didn't even register! "I'm not asking you to take them out of the world," he says, "but I ask you to protect them." Contrary to popular opinion, we're not angels. We were never meant to be. We're creatures! Mortals! Human beings! Meant not for heaven, but for here and now! And we have a job to do... to love just like Jesus! Jesus wants us to do what he's done! Suffer under Pilate! Be crucified! Die! Be buried! Descend to the dead! And rise to do it all over, again! Jesus wants us to share the joy of redeeming, of delivering, of saving! His story becomes our story! His mission our mission! His life our life! And amazingly, it happens only on THIS side of tomorrow!

Bob Barndt, pastor

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