Sermons - Bethany Luteran Church, Ishpeming Michigan

Easter 05/21/2017
Confirmation has become a movable occasion for us; no date is etched in stone on the church calendar so it’s moved around over the past few years. 
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Easter 05/14/2017
“I am the way, and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  There you have it. Everything I said last week about Luther’s hiddenness of God and hope for outsiders seems to go out the window.... 
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Easter 05/07/2017
Remember the man born blind, one of Jesus’ Lenten encounters?  It’s been over a month now so you may have forgotten the story.
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Easter 04/30/2017
For this year’s final resurrection appearance story we move from John’s gospel to Luke’s. 
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Easter 04/23/2017
Today [the Lenten] encounter theme continues with the familiar story of Thomas, Doubting Thomas as he will forever be known.
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Easter Sunday 04/16/2017
If you were here Friday night, in listening to the Passion according to St. John, you heard Jesus say, “For this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”
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Good Friday 04/14/2017
If you looked this text up in your Bible, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” if you looked it up you would probably find that either it’s set off in brackets or that there’s a footnote attached to it. 
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Maundy Thursday 04/13/2017
“Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
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Passion Introduction 04/09/2017
Today we enter into the central mystery of our faith, the Passion of our Lord.
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Lent 04/02/2017
It has been said that John’s gospel begins where the other three gospels end.  In the accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke despite spending time with Jesus, despite seeing the miraculous things he did, despite hearing the wisdom of what he said, his disciples consistently fail to recognize who Jesus really is.
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Lent 03/26/2017
Everyone looks, but not everyone sees.  It’s a line from my basketball coaching days when I would attend clinics that included big name college coaches like Bob Knight who back then was in the middle of his long, successful run at Indiana.
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Lent 03/19/2017
This is the year of long Lenten gospel readings, at least after the first Sunday in Lent.
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Lent 03/12/2017
John 3: 1-17. I would like to begin by saying it is a blessing to be with you today at Bethany Lutheran Church. Pastor Brenda Smith
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Lent 03/05/2017
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil,” and we say, “Wait a minute; the Spirit is not supposed to do that.”
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Ash Wednesday 03/01/2017
I read that there are 300,000 accidental child poisonings in this country every year.
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Transfiguration 02/26/2017
The Baptism of Jesus and the Transfiguration are the bookends of the season of Epiphany, the post-Christmas season during which aspects of Jesus identity are revealed.
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Epiphany 02/19/2017
From my perspective, I wish Easter was a week earlier ... which would mean that today would be Transfiguration Sunday and I wouldn’t have to preach on today’s text.
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Epiphany 02/12/2017
As we move into our third week of considering Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we get into the “You have heard it said, but I say to you” part of it as Jesus addresses specific points of the law and the commandments.
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Epiphany 02/05/2017
The words “righteous” and “righteousness” pop up all over today’s scripture readings, in the first reading from Isaiah, in the Psalm and in the gospel.
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Epiphany 01/29/2017
The disciples and others who gathered to hear Jesus begin to preach what we know as The Sermon on the Mount had to have been disappointed by what they heard, especially this beginning part we call the Beatitudes, all the “Blessed are theys.”
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Epiphany 01/22/2017
With today’s first reading we flash back to Christmas Eve as this reading from Isaiah is always the first reading on that night. 
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Epiphany 01/15/2017
Is life more about questions or is it more about answers?  I think you know where I come down on that and I think I’ve got pretty good company.
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Baptism of the Lord 01/08/2017
On Friday night we celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord which, in our tradition marks the arrival of the Wise Men, the Magi bearing gifts for Jesus, the new born king to whom the star had guided them.
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Christmas 01/01/2017
Happy New Year is the greeting of the day, but as we dip back into the Christmas story and revisit the characters, we find that for them, it’s not the greeting that would have been on their lips.
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Christmas Day - 12/25/2016
If John’s was the only gospel we had, our celebration of Christmas, the Incarnation of our Lord, would be quite different.
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Christmas Eve - 12/24/2016
As remarkable as it is, the Christmas story I just read is so familiar that it’s pretty hard to have it surprise you. 
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