April 2018

Pastor Loren Mai        Have you noticed that we live in a world of “recharging? Almost every day I must recharge my aging cell phone. My iPad lasts much longer on a charge, but it still requires recharging. Then there is my electric razor, which makes it almost 2 weeks before it needs to be recharged. The most important of my “rechargeables” is my FitBit activity tracker, which doubles as a wristwatch. If I don’t recharge my FitBit every few days, it quits working until I recharge it.

       I have often seen the season of Lent as a time of recharging. Through the months of winter, we experience darkness and a time of winding down. Lent begins a cycle of being energized in preparation for the glorious Easter sea-son. We are not responsible for recharging ourselves. God recharges us, and we are, by grace, energized and given new life. The Holy Spirit enlightens and enlivens us in our lives as Christians. We are inspired and empowered to proclaim Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the world.

       As we conclude our Lenten journey for another year, my prayer for Bethany Lutheran Church is that we have been recharged—as individuals and as this community of faith. On Easter Sunday, April 1, we will once again experi-ence the power of God in conquering death. Throughout the Easter season—in fact, every day of our lives—we rejoice that almighty God is in the busi-ness of giving new life, on this earth and in a world to come. And, in a world of “temporary” recharging of electronic devices, we give thanks that the re-charging power of God never fails.

Pastor Loren D. Mai

A WORD FROM PHIL

Luke 24:2-3 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.

       Spring is in the air…almost. This time of year the weather can be challenging. Sometimes it is very nice out. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping. Then al-most instantly, the weather changes. We have cold and wind, even snow. It is as if the Kansas weather is taunting us into complacency and then hitting us with reality.

       That is often how life is. Sometimes in life the weather is great. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and life is going well. Then almost overnight the weath-er changes. The bad weather of illness, loneliness and despair can hit us and hit us hard. It happens to us all. There are times in all of our lives when those bad days come and life is difficult. Kind of like the weather, we are suddenly faced with the unexpected and the unwanted.

       But, the good news of the Gospel message is that even during the rough weath-er, those times in life when things are not going well, there is a promise. It is the promise of Easter. Spring, with its turbulent weather, also means the arrival of East-er. This year Easter Sunday is on April 1st. On Easter Sunday we are reminded of the Gospel promise which is that Christ rose from the dead to conquer death and to give us life eternal. It is a promise to live into and to give us reason to rejoice. It is a promise to celebrate.

       It is also a promise to sustain us during the turbulent weather of life. We are Easter people. To believe in the promise of Easter does not mean our days will al-ways be bright and sunny. It does not mean that life will never have its challenges. What it means is that through it all we have a promise to guide and lead us in life. Whatever the weather may be, Christ is there with us each and every day. In this life and forever.

Phillip Hett