Bethlehem United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Mission Statement: To give of ourselves so others may know Jesus Christ.

  

 

 

Dear Bethlehem Friends,

Please join with me as we enter a special season of focused prayer. I have entitled the Lenten Sermon Series “On the Road to Easter and Beyond” with reason.
 
I always try to remember that wherever I go as a Pastor and wherever we go as a church, Jesus walks ahead of us. Whether we are uncertain, confused, anxious; no matter – Jesus walks ahead to calm our fears. To give us assurance, the Apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:7, that the Christian “Walks by faith and not by sight.” With that truth spoken, we follow Jesus into the future, unafraid, for we walk by faith. 
 
Many of you have spoken very kind words to Cathy and me, as my retirement looms ahead, just three months away. We are grateful for your kindness. Thank you. When people ask how we are doing, I tell them we are grieving. We are leaving behind work and ministry that we have loved… and our relationship with people we love will be changed. Yes, we are living with that uncertainty, too. Many have asked, “what are you going to do?” Frankly, I (we) are not altogether certain. But we know that Jesus is out there ahead of us and will make a way. In fact, Doug Moen, has written a song that speaks of these uncertainties.
 
Here are the lyrics: 
God will make a way, where there seems to be no way; He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me. 
He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side; With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way. 
By a roadway in the wilderness, He'll lead me; and rivers in the desert will I see.
Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain, 
And He will do something new today. 
Oh, God will make a way, where there seems to be no way; 
He works in ways we cannot see; He will make a way for me. 
He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side With love and strength for each new day He will make a way,
Yes… He will make a way. 
 
This song has powerful origins. Here is the story behind the song as Moen tells it: 
“I got a call from my mother-in-law late one night, and she told me that my wife’s sister and her husband, Craig and Susan Phelps, had been involved in a tragic car accident while taking their kids on a ski trip,” Don Moen recounted. “All four of their children were thrown out of the vehicle, and the oldest, a 9-year-old boy, was killed instantly. The other three were seriously injured.” 
 
“It was life-altering; I didn’t know what to say to them,” he continued. “Craig was a Bible teacher at his church, and they were both full of faith. As I sat on the plane, wondering what I should say to them, I began to read in the book of Isaiah, and chapter 43, verse 19 stood out to me: ‘I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.’ Instantly, the Lord gave me a song to sing to them.” 
 
Privately, Moen performed the song for his grieving in-laws, which includes the poignant lyrics, “Oh, God will make a way/Where there seems to be no way/He works in ways we cannot see/He will make a way for me.” 
“It was a song written in desperation, but it brought a word of hope to them. When everything around you seems lost, God is working in ways you cannot see.” 
 
Over these next three months of transition… let us pray for the way that God will make, even though we cannot see it.
 
Pray for those who are coming to provide leadership in the year ahead.
Pray for the leadership of our congregation that we may be steadfast in our commitment to the mission.
Pray for the staff of our congregation that they will follow Jesus as he makes a way by walking ahead of us.
 
Yes, let us covenant to make this a season of prayer. Amen. 
 
 
 
 

Better Disciples, More Disciples, Yours in Christs love,

Pastor Roger