Bethlehem Lutheran Church

The Heart of Bay Ridge
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Sunday Service 10:30am
4th & Ovington Avenues
Brooklyn NY  11209
Bethlehem Lutheran Church ®  |  4th & Ovington Avenues, Brooklyn NY 11209  |  718.748.9502
A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Pastor Paul's Thanksgiving Message
Dear Members & Friends,

​“The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. He put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.” “They seized him and dragged him out of the temple…While they were trying to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in an uproar….They arrested him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains.” “Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me…Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’”  

“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you…I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ.” “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace o f God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Who is the central figure in these two paragraphs? Yes, it is the apostle Paul. Paul spent years of his life in chains in prison. He also had a painful ailment that impacted his life daily. Paul was bombarded by negative encounters in his life, yet the second paragraph above is only a sample of the joy and thankfulness Paul consistently expressed. Paul’s joy and thankfulness was not caused by external events. His joy and thankfulness came from the love of Christ in his heart and his constant desire to serve his risen Lord and Savior. 
This is where true joy and thankfulness are found. 

On Sunday, November 20th, we gather to express our inner joy and thanksgiving to God. Sunday is also “Christ the King” Sunday. This combination makes perfect sense, as our inner joy, thanksgiving and peace comes from having our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as King of our life. Come and join us as we worship, give thanks, and celebrate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Please remember our “Be a Blessing” project. Each year we collect winter outerwear for the clients of our Healing Center and their children. Please consider donating new coats, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens for those families striving to start over again after a life negatively affected by family violence. We will also be donating canned and packaged goods to the 4th Avenue Presbyterian Church Food Pantry. Please bring some food items to help those in need in our community.

In the Lord’s Service,

Rev. Paul H. Knudsen