Worship Sunday at 10:30

Bethany Evangelical
Lutheran Church

Ishpeming, Michigan † Est. 1870

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Pastor's Reflections

I feel like the gods of snow and ice and wind punished me for writing about the blues and blahs of February last month! They all took turns reminding us that there are powerful forces over which we have no control. It was my fault! I accept the blame! It was definitely a month to remember... or forget…I’m not sure which. I even wound up cancelling Sunday worship which I thought I would never do. Like Father McKenzie of Eleanor Rigby fame, I spent a week writing a sermon that no one will hear. And then comes March, which often doesn’t treat us much better!

Optimistically though (and hoping not to further anger the gods of winter), even as February winds down and after digging out from the Sunday blizzard, there are hints of spring. The days are already noticeable longer and will feel longer still when the time changes on March 10th. Even on cold days, when the sun comes out, it rises higher in the sky and feels warmer; melting does start to happen! And... according to the calendar, spring will begin on March 20th! I don’t expect to see bare ground anytime soon (maybe by Mothers’ Day?) but still, there are hints of spring.

In church, another hint of spring is the season of Lent which this year begins on March 6th, Ash Wednesday. As a liturgical season, Lent does or should have a different feel to it. It’s a season during which we are more intentionally called to be honest about who we are as mortal, sinful human beings. We do so not in order to throw up our hands in despair, but to more fully recognize our need for God’s grace and forgiveness and also to recognize that we can come closer to being who God would have us be.

In a church that places such great emphasis on grace and forgiveness, for Lutherans Lent can be a challenge. My sense is that we don’t take the disciplines of Lent, prayer, fasting and almsgiving as seriously as do some other faith traditions. I would suggest though, that it’s a good idea to take on such discipline, not for God’s sake, but for your sake. Even a modest discipline can serve as a daily reminder of the meaning of Lent, a reminder of God’s presence and grace in your life and how you can respond to that presence. In a culture where many of us are overly attached to our electronic devices, some form a technology fast might be a good idea.

Again, Lent begins on March 6th with Ash Wednesday services. On the following Wednesdays we will continue our tradition of soup suppers followed by Evening Prayer including a Lenten drama. As part of your discipline, make these additional times of prayer part of your week.

Hopefully the gods of snow and ice and wind will treat us more kindly!

Pastor Geier


Bethany Lutheran Church
715 Mather Avenue
Ishpeming, MI 49849

Phone: 906-486-4351
Fax: 906-486-9640

Rev. Warren Geier, Pastor

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