Stained Glass Round

Message from the Pastor
from the Bethel Beacon

            Bethel Lutheran Church       Bemidji, Minnesota

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February and March 2019


(It was -29 degrees F. this morning, and so my thoughts naturally turn to……………. Baseball!)

A man was passing a field in which some young boys were playing baseball. The man asked one of the outfielders, “What’s the score?”

“Seventeen to nothing, sir,” the boy replied.

“Well, which side is ahead?” the man asked.

“They are.” the boy said.

“That looks pretty bad for you, doesn’t it?” said the man.

The confident youngster smiled and stated optimistically, “Oh, no, sir, it ain’t so bad. We ain’t been up to bat yet!”

There are certainly times that it seems the score is “17 to nothing” against peace, against right, against justice, against mercy. The game has become a laugher, and gloom comes over the field of play. History has been dotted with agonizing situations: earthquakes, floods, economic uncertainty in the Euro-zone, wars in Syria, Afghanistan, and various places. But closer to home there is also turmoil: job insecurity, school shootings, financial worries, retirement questions, etc. In this game of life it appears that the light has lost its advantage, and the darkness is winning. What will happen now? We don’t know what the next inning has in store for us. St. Paul says, “We see in a mirror dimly”, and so with half-knowledge we live with uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts. Looking again at the scoreboard, we tremble and ask, “Is it a lost cause?”

Then God places the bat in the hands of the church and empowers us with his very own spirit. “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good”. This allows us to center our attention on the field of play, and not on the scoreboard. And that’s where it should be.

We are called to be the church in this place we call Bethel Lutheran. And as God’s own, we continue to stand in God’s Grace, and Word, and Power. There is an old saying that goes like this: ‘Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present.’ God is faithful! One inning may seem to go against us, but faith takes the long view. And in a powerful way this shield of faith that God provides protects us and our attitude: We don’t look for a place to hide in the dugout; we look forward to play.

“Lead on O King eternal: We follow not with fears, For gladness breaks like morning, Where’er your face appears. Your cross is lifted o’er us; We journey in its light; The crown awaits the conquest; Lead on, O God of might!”


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Last modified January 25, 2019