Bethlehem Lutheran Church

37000 Union Lake Rd, Harrison Twp., MI 48045
(586) 791-3030

Spiritual Matters

 

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Follow Me!

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on January 17, 2012 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Mark 1:14-20

What triggers a radical change? Disappointment? Desperation? Hope? Idealism? A word timely spoken? Any and all of these can certainly push us toward change, but the actual pivot point is often a person—someone who understands the disappointment or desperation, who offers hope, embodies the idealism or speaks the clarifying word. Jesus said “Follow me,” and people did. They still do. Why?

God’s peace,
Mary

Come and See!

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on January 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

John 1:43-51

During the time between Epiphany and Lent, we are looking at various ways that Jesus is made known to people and the attitudes that need to be overcome in the process. John presents an attitude easily recognized by us today –skepticism. As soon as Nathanael hears where Jesus is from, he is ready to write him off. Nazareth was a town of no special importance to the Jews. It was a garrison town full of pagan Roman soldiers, their gods and their ways. How could the Messiah come from there?

Today’s skeptical question often is “How do you know the things written about Jesus in the Bible are true?” My answer has to be the same as Philips: Come and see.

God’s peace,
Mary

Who is this Jesus

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on January 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

With the celebration of Epiphany this Friday, we in the church continue to ask an important question, “Jesus, who are you?” Throughout Advent and Christmas we have heard answers—God’s son born of a young woman, a light in the darkness, the expected one, the messiah or anointed one, savior of the nations.

As he grew into adulthood and prepared for his public ministry, Jesus, himself, needed to be clear about his identity. At his baptism at the age of about 30, he is given the answer in dramatic fashion, leaving no doubt in his mind as a voice from heaven declares him God’s son, and the Spirit settles on him like a dove. He would still need forty days in the desert to sort it all out, but from that time on, his understanding of who he was would never be shaken.

God’s peace,
Mary

How to Prepare for Jesus' Arrival

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on December 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

A central theme of Advent is preparation.

We prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday by thinking about what the world was like before he came to earth as a baby and, as an adult, died to save us, and what it would be like now, if he hadn’t.

We prepare our hearts to receive him in the present by accepting his great gift of salvation and, with it, freedom from the power of sin in our lives.

We prepare for his return to earth in bodily form by living faithful lives, so that, if he should return today, he will find us doing what we have been called to do.

Happy Advent,
Mary

Christmas

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on December 27, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Dec. 20, 2011
I was given a Christmas card this year showing Mary kissing her baby. It’s an intensely private moment—no shepherds, no angels, no kings, no threats, no mission to save the world. Just a loving mother and her baby. Cradled in her arms, he would gaze at the delighted shepherds and the worshipping kings. Sheltered in her arms, he would be protected from Herod’s threats. Blessed by her love, he would fulfill his mission. But now there is just a very young son and his mother.

Christmas blessings,
Mary

MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on December 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

LUKE 1:26-38

 

We know very little about Mary, the mother of Jesus. From what we know of the culture of which she was a part, we assume she was quite young, fourteen or fifteen, perhaps, when Jesus was born. We know from the Bible that she was Jewish, devout, and a descendant of King David. We know she was the gateway through which Jesus entered the world, and that she was present at crucial moments throughout his life, including at his death. And we know she willingly played here role in God’s amazing plan of salvation, setting aside her own expectations of the future and stepping boldly, trustingly, into the uncertain life God offered. But we really don’t need to know any more.

 

Advent blessings,

 

Mary

WITNESS TO THE LIGHT

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on December 6, 2011 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)

John 1:6-8

Has anyone ever witnessed to you? I’m not talking about the wild-eyed guy standing on a street corner yelling that the end is near or the insistent lady who pushes a religious tract into your hand or evangelists knocking on your door. I’m talking about a friend, relative or stranger who deeply moves you by quietly telling you about a dark time in their life made bearable by God’s love. Have you, yourself, been such a witness?

Like John the Baptist, who testified to the Light that had come into the world in the person of Jesus, we are called to bear witness, so that all may know that there is a God, not in some far off heaven, but with us now.

Advent blessings,
Mary

HOW TO PREPARE FOR JESUS' ARRIVAL

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on November 29, 2011 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

A central theme of Advent is preparation.

We prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday by thinking about what the world was like before he came to earth as a baby and, as an adult, died to save us, and what it would be like now, if he hadn’t.

We prepare our hearts to receive him in the present by accepting his great gift of salvation and, with it, freedom from the power of sin in our lives.

We prepare for his return to earth in bodily form by living faithful lives, so that, if he should return today, he will find us doing what we have been called to do.

Happy Advent,
Mary

Happy New Year!

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on November 25, 2011 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year!

No, I’m not jumping the gun. The new church year begins this Sunday, November 27, with the season of Advent. So, happy New Year!

The word “advent” comes from the Latin and means “arrival.” The season has several purposes. As the first season of the church year, it marks the beginning of our annual retelling of the story of salvation which we do by recounting the life of Jesus (Advent through Ascension) and the ministry of Jesus (the season of Pentecost).

In the past, Advent was considered one of the penitential seasons, like Lent, and gave Christians time to prepare their hearts (as well as their homes) for the celebration of Christmas. Although the season is still a meditative season for many church members, it has lost some of its somber tone.

During this time, we think about and prepare for three different arrivals of Jesus: in the past (when he was born into our world in Bethlehem), in the present (when he is welcomed by us into our hearts), and in the future (the “second coming,” when a new reign of justice will be established).

More about Advent next week!

~Pastor Mary

Free daily "God Pause" devotions

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on November 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

If you would like to start (or end) your day with a brief but insightful devotion, try the "God Pause" devotions from Luther Seminary.

 

Pastor Mary


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Sunday Service: 9:30am 

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, Oct 14 at 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday, Oct 15 at 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunday, Oct 22 at 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunday, Oct 29 at 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM