Pastor Bill’s First Sermon at Bethlehem:
Names and Relationships Matter to God’s People

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June 18, 2017. In Exodus, we hear of the people of Israel making it out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, to the foot of Mt. Sinai, and there beginning a new conversation with God through Moses.  Even while they are in transition, a new relationship is being formed that will last through the ages.  In a similar manner, Bethlehem Lutheran is in its own time of transition; new conversations are underway about how God is calling us to move and be in this time and place as we prepare for new leadership.  Then, in the Gospel of Matthew, we hear of Jesus calling each of the twelve apostles by name; they then are directed to minister not to the Samaritans nor the Gentiles, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  Jesus is concerned to help his people regroup and flourish amidst the unimaginable challenge of enduring the overwhelming Roman occupation of their land.  In effect, Jesus is preparing his discouraged and beleaguered Jewish flock to get their house in order as a kind of resistance movement.  In a very real sense, now is a time for us here at Bethlehem to get our own house in order – not only our physical house, but also our faith community overall – as we move forward with a new vision of who God is calling us to become.

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Bethlehem Lutheran Church