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5/4/2021 by Rev. Daniel Smail

Dearest Members of Bethlehem, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 Years ago, I was buying a used vehicle and and I distinctly remember saying to the salesman, “This car is in good shape, it’s going to hold up well, right?” To his eternal credit, the man looked across the desk at me and said, “It’s mechanical, we never know when, but eventually it will fail.” Honesty can be tough to take, but it is always the best policy. I was thinking about this word of wisdom from the car salesman as our church’s new 2000 pound air conditioning unit dangled precariously from the crane that had hoisted it heavenward. It is astounding to think of all that needs to work properly for that crane to work as it should: the hydraulics, the various sensors, all the way down to the individual bolts that hold everything together. I know that which is mechanical is bound to fail eventually, but I am so grateful that air conditioning unit landed safely and securely in place. For some, their Christian faith is that which holds everything else together. Faith and grace are the very gifts that allow many to function as they were designed to function. The way they view the world, that which brings them hope and joy, and yes… even the source of inspiration needed to get the job done are all provided by a persistent trust in the Good News of the Gospel. And now, I can only speak from personal experience, but never once has that faith failed me. Oh believe me, there have been many times when I stumbled, faltered, and failed… the limitations were always mine, but the Savior in whom I place my trust, is always reliable, in fact, eternally so. It’s so good to know that when things go wrong, if and when we should fall, there is always a safe place to land. There is the comfort and security of knowing that we will be mended in those broken places and can begin again living in the light of Christ. Question for reflection: Can you even imagine what your life would be like without your faith? This week at Bethlehem: On Wednesday evening we will be offering our final in-person Bible Study on Romans and Revelation, which begins at 7:00. On Saturday evening we will be offering our in-person Saturday evening worship service at 6:00. On Sunday morning we will offer in-person worship services at 8:00 and 10:30. Our 10:30 service will be live-streamed. Yours in Christ, Pastor Dan Let us pray… God of goodness and mercy, you are the source of everything good, right, and true. We pray that we might always rely on you as we seek to make meaning of our lives and find hope and joy in the days ahead. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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