Worship Sunday at 10:30

Bethany Evangelical
Lutheran Church

Ishpeming, Michigan † Est. 1870

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Advent 12/21

Today’s gospel reading is the annunciation, the angel Gabriel telling Mary that she will bear a son named Jesus. It’s a story where God’s plan seems impossible. “Pregnant” and “virgin” are two words that usually don’t go together too well. It seems unlikely that it was Mary’s plan for her life. However, Mary doesn’t seem to have much choice in the matter. The angel simply announces that it will happen. No if’s, and’s or but’s. It’s the way things are going to be.

In a flash, a life has been changed and there’s no going back. The only question left is how to react to these suddenly and radically altered circumstances. Mary reacts in a way that few of us are able. She declares herself to be a servant of the Lord and accedes to God’s plan for her life.

That can be a difficult thing to do. How much time do we spend fighting God? We want what we want, not necessarily what God wants. He’s not a part of our game plan. We usually don’t have angels announcing God’s plan to us, and even if we did, we might manage to convince ourselves that we’d eaten or drunk something we shouldn’t have.

Any time one is considering going to seminary, one hears a lot about call stories. When did one first hear the call to ordained ministry. Some places even have slide shows, complete with a diagram of all the elements a good call story should contain. One popular element is “resistance.” How long was one able to say “no way” to what God said “yes” to?

Of course the truth of the matter is that no matter how much more frequently the ordained are asked about the “call,” it applies to all of us. God calls us all to something. As his children, each and every one of us is called. What exactly are we all called to? I don’t know. Sometimes it’s something we’ve ignored so thoroughly that we barely hear it any more. Sometimes it’s something we do, but we think of as a job, a duty or an obligation, something we’ve never realized is a call. Calls come in many forms. In today’s songs and carols we hear about calls that have been. Calls to magi, calls to shepherds, calls to behold and calls to witness.  As we listen, let us remember that we too are called, and let us listen to hear how we are being called.

Vicar Joy Proper


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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one such child in my name
welcomes me, and whoever
welcomes me welcomes
not me
but the
one who
sent me.”


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