Worship Sunday at 10:30

Bethany Evangelical
Lutheran Church

Ishpeming, Michigan † Est. 1870

 
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Pastor's Reflections

On October 12th the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan and the Northern Great Lakes Synod sponsored what was called a revival at NMU’s new University Center. The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, who preached at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018, was the preacher. He is holding these events around the country in an effort to provide a path for revitalizing discipleship in the Episcopal tradition, one which faces the same kinds of challenges we in the Lutheran church face.

I can’t duplicate Bishop Curry’s preaching here other than to say he was very dynamic and engaging, holding the attention of the 300 or so gathered for almost 40 minutes. If you’re interested, just Google him and you’ll find samples of his preaching. The following though is an outline of what he calls “The Way of Love: Practices for Jesus-Centered Life.” I offer it to you and hope that you might find something helpful in it, some points of connection and encouragement as they are practices appropriate for any Christian tradition.

TURN: Pause, listen, and choose to follow Jesus

Like the disciples, we are called by Jesus to follow the Way of Love. With God’s help, we can turn from the powers of sin, hatred, fear, injustice and oppression toward the way of truth, love, hope, justice, and freedom. In turning, we reorient our lives to Jesus Christ, falling in love again, again, and again.

LEARN: Reflect on Scripture each day, especially on Jesus’ life and teachings.

By reading and reflecting on Scripture, especially the life and teachings of Jesus, we draw near to God and God’s word dwells in us. When we open our minds and hearts to Scripture, we learn to see God’s story and God’s activity in everyday life.

PRAY: Dwell intentionally with God each day.

Jesus teaches us to come before God with humble hearts, boldly offering our thanksgivings and concerns to God or simply listening for God’s voice in our lives and in the world. Whether in thought, word or deed, individually or corporately, when we pray we invite and dwell in God’s loving presence.

WORSHIP: Gather in community weekly to thank, praise, and dwell with God.

When we worship, we gather with others before God. We hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, give thanks, confess, and offer the brokenness of the world to God. As we break bread, our eyes are opened to the presence of Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are made one body, the body of Christ sent forth to live the Way of Love.

BLESS: Share faith and unselfishly give and serve.

Jesus called his disciples to give, forgive, teach and heal in his name. We are empowered by the Spirit to bless everyone we meet, practicing generosity and compassion, and proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ with hopeful words and selfless actions. We can share our stories of blessing and invite others to the Way of Love.

GO: Cross boundaries, listen deeply and live like Jesus.

As Jesus went to the highways and byways, he sends us beyond our circles and comfort, to witness to the love, justice and truth of God with our lips and with our lives. We go to listen with humility and to join God in healing a hurting world. We go to become Beloved Community, a people reconciled in love with God and one another.

REST: Receive the gift of God’s grace, peace, and restoration.

From the beginning of creation, God has established the sacred pattern of going and returning, labor and rest. Especially today, God invites us to dedicate time for restoration and wholeness within our bodies, minds, and souls, and within our communities and institutions. By resting we place our trust in God, the primary actor who brings all things to their fullness.

I appreciate what Bishop Curry had to offer. None of it is really new, some of it you might already be doing, but presented this way it does provide the opportunity for each of us to refocus and think about how we can grow in discipleship.

Pastor Geier

 
 

Bethany Lutheran Church
715 Mather Avenue
Ishpeming, MI 49849

Phone: 906-486-4351
Fax: 906-486-9640
contact@bethanyishpeming.org

Rev. Warren Geier, Pastor
pastor@bethanyishpeming.org

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“Whoever
welcomes
one such child in my name
welcomes me, and whoever
welcomes me welcomes
not me
but the
one who
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