Eighth Sunday after Pentecost Sunday, July 23, 2023


Prayer of the day

O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your final judgement, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You in perfect joy hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


First Reading:

Isaiah 44:6-8                                                                           

The Lord, Not Idols

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
    apart from me there is no God.
Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let them foretell what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”


Psalm 86:11-15; antiphon: Psalm 86:6

L:  Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;

C:  listen to my plea for grace.

L:  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth;

C:  unite my heart to fear your name.

L:  I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,

C:  and I will glorify your name forever.

L:  For great is your steadfast love toward me;

C:  you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

L:  O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seek my life,

C:  and they do not set you before them.

L:  But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

C:  slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen

L:  Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;

C:  listen to my plea for grace.



Romans 8:18-27                       

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.



Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43                                          

The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

The name of the church

On February 4th 1934, the congregation decided upon a name of the church.  The following is from the bulletin on that day.


Beautiful little town of Bethany!  It is found on the eastern slope of the mount of Olives, fully a mile beyond the summit, and not very far from the point at which the road to Jericho begins its more sudden decent toward the Jordan valley. 

Jesus had no home of his own and although He often took refuge in the garden of Gethsemane yet it was to Bethany that He was want to go when evening approached; to Bethany, where He knew that He would be welcomed at the home of Lazarus; to Bethany, to be in company with his many dear friends and followers that dwelt there, among whom was Mary and Martha.  It was here that our Lord proclaimed his sublime, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”  What mighty encouragement!  Yet what a beautiful and restful assurance it renders the believer’s heart of the life that is to come, of heaven and eternal happiness!

Bethany Lutheran ChurchBethany, how serenely you lie basking in the noon-day sun!  It is here in this little village that our emotions are lowered to the depths of sorrow, when we read “Jesus wept”; then soaring to the state of undeniable faith in Him as “Very God of Very god” when we behold the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead; to the sublime heights of joy as we are told that many when they saw this miracle “believed on Him.”

Beautiful little town of Bethany!  Your very name inspires peace and tranquility; above all, may it ever be the symbol of the place of refuge in which our Lord is found.



The committee elected for the selection of a suitable name for the church submits the following report.

A gratuitous response met the plea that members submit a favored name for our church.  Thirteen names in all we submitted to the committee for deliberation.  The names are the following:

10 Bethel, 2) Bethlehem, 3) Bethany, 4) Christ, 5) Calvary, 6) Trinity, 7) St. Mark’s, 8) St. Matthew’s, 9) St. Paul’s, 10) St. Peter’s, 11) St. Luke’s, 12) Church of Our Redeemer, 13) Grace

Of these the committee selected 4 names:  1) Bethlehem, 2) Calvary, 3) St. Matthew’s, 4) St. Mark’s

However, how true the old, old saying, “Man proposes, god disposes.” It took the congregation (perhaps due to the fact that our good ladies had something to say about it, although we hesitate on giving anybody credit for superior judgment) to select the most beautiful and appropriate name for our Church, namely Bethany Bethany! Of course it’s Bethany!! What other name could be more appropriate than this, — listen —  Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church .


All Who Heard Him were Amazed!

Luke 2:40-52                      

And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.  The Boy Jesus in the Temple 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.  52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.