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getting out the WORD - the 11th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Thursday, 24 August 2017 14:45

the PRAYER...
God of all peoples, your arms reach out to embrace all those who call upon you. Teach us as disciples of your Son to love the world with compassion and constancy, that your name may be known throughout the earth, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
And [Jesus'] disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." He answered them, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Matthew 15:10-28

the DEVOTION...
I don't know what it is about us! As human beings! As god's people! We read verse after verse, Sunday after Sunday! But when a handful of words confuses us, our faith crumbles! Instead of hanging on to the 99.44% we know to be true, we're undone by that .56% we're unsure of! But there was that time...

That one time when the Canaanite - the Palestinian - woman came to Jesus! Jesus the Israelite! Jesus the Jew! "Have mercy," she shouted! He ignored her! And the woman said, "This isn't you!" Jesus said, "I wasn't sent to people like you!" And she said, "I don't believe you!" Jesus said, "It's not fair!" She knelt before him and said, "Yet even the dogs!"

No matter what Jesus did, no matter what he said, she knew - knew without a doubt - that he cared! And Jesus was amazed! "Lord, help me," she said, "Help me and help my daughter!" And Jesus said, "Amen!"

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
getting out the WORD - the 10th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:18

the PRAYER...
O God our defender, storms rage around and within us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.

Matthew 14:22-33

the DEVOTION...
Nowadays, we refer to it, simply, as Pilgrim's Progress. But when the book first came out, the title was a bit longer: The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come! A Christian allegory, written in 1678, in England, by the Puritan, John Bunyan, it tells the story of every believer's journey from the city of destruction, up the hill of difficulty, through the valley of humiliation, across the plain of ease, at last, into the celestial city! And in its nearly 110,000 words, Jesus - and the cross - is hardly mentioned! It's not god's journey that Bunyan describes; it's only the pilgrim's progress!

In this week's gospel, however, there's only one trip that matters. And that's the one Jesus takes! Down the mountain! Across the sea! To the disciples in the boat! (Of course, that's just one part of a larger journey: out of heaven, up golgotha, onto the cross, into the tomb and back out, again!) Anyway, it's windy. Waves are battering the boat. But everything's fine... until Peter goes the way of Bunyan's pilgrim! "Lord, if it's you, command me to come to you!" Out of the boat! Into the sea! Toward Jesus! And what happens? He sinks! Sinks like the "rock" he is! Fortunately for Peter, Jesus, though, never stops coming. He reaches out, catches hold of Peter, and puts him back into the boat... where he belongs!

You see, faith isn't making our way to Jesus. It's staying put, knowing - without a doubt - come hell or high water, Jesus is on his way to us!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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