Stained Glass Round

Message from the Pastor
from the Bethel Beacon

            Bethel Lutheran Church       Bemidji, Minnesota

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APRIL and MAY of 2017

“If for this life only we who have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” 1 Corinthians 15:19-20

They put him in a tomb on a Friday afternoon. They rolled a large stone against the entrance. He was dead. Let no one disturb his body. They even stationed guards at the tomb to make sure that no one would take him away. But they forgot one thing; they hadn’t figured on God! God had sent him on a mission which included death, but death wasn’t the end of the errand. God raised him from the dead; He defeated death from the inside out!

Martin Luther in his small catechism asks, “What does this mean?” Some would ask now, “So what’s the difference?” “What does Easter mean?”” “What’s the difference?” I am glad you asked. In the Hymn “Come my Way, my Truth, my Life”, written in the 1600’s Author George Herbert writes: “Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life: Such a way as gives us breath; Such a truth as ends all strife, Such a life as killeth death.”

Death is killed! It no longer has the last word! The last word now belongs to Jesus! And he speaks to you and me, just like he spoke to Mary that first Easter morning. He calls us by name and gives us a new life. Because of Easter there is forgiveness. Because of Easter there is victory. Because of Easter there is love and courage. Because of Easter there is an everlasting future, not a dead end. That’s what Easter means. That’s what the difference is. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ!

Rev. Mark Kindem


What is stewardship? Some sample definitions:

  • “Christian stewardship is the practice of the Christian religion. It is neither a department of life, nor a sphere of activity. It is the Christian conception of life as a whole, manifested in attitudes and actions.” W.H. Greever (1937)

  • Christian stewardship is the practice of systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities, and material possessions, based upon the conviction that these are trusts from God to be used in his service for the benefit of all mankind in grateful acknowledgment of Christ’s redeeming love.” National Council of Churches United Stewardship Council (1946)

  • Stewardship is what we do after we say we believe.” Clarence C. Stoughton (1949)

  • “Stewardship is partnership with Christ, through the Holy Spirit, in fulfilling the purposes of God in the world.” A.C. Conrad (1955)

  • “Stewardship is the re-enactment of Christ’s life in Christ’s people.” T.A. Kantonen (1956)

  • Stewardship is the management of life and all its resources for God and for the good of all.” Robert Hastings (1961)

  • “Stewardship is receiving and sharing God’’s bounteous gifts and managing them for the best promotion of God’s purposes in the world.” Milo Kauffman (1975)

  • “Stewardship is taking care of the bounty that God continually provides us.” L. David Brown (1978)

  • “Christian stewardship has come to mean ‘‘what we do with what we have, all the time.’” John H. MacNaughton (1983)

  • “Stewardship is a philosophy of life and a theological form of self-management.” John Brackett (1988)

  • “Stewardship is God’s grace working God’s purpose out in the world, in, with and through us, who, in grateful response to God and through faith in Jesus Christ, enter into a covenant relationship with the empowering Spirit of God that blesses all of creation.” Rhodes Thompson (1990)


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Last modified March 30, 2017