Bethany was a small village east of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. Bethany was a place where Jesus had friends (Mary, Martha, Lazarus) and a place where he rested before entering Jerusalem, the big city. The name Bethany probably meant House of the Poor, which brings clarity to the fact that Simon the Leper also lived in Bethany. In Jesus, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” He gave up his heavenly home, was born in a stable and never settled into a home of his own. Bethany was Jesus’ home away from home.
Jesus cared for the poor, the sick, and the needy in clear and demonstrable ways. He was willing to touch people when he healed them. He was willing to eat with people who were struggling. Jesus was willing to befriend the people who were considered outcasts of society.
Primarily Christian churches are not social clubs, places for business contacts, or places for the self-righteous. Primarily Christian churches should serve the needs of the community and especially people at times when they need the support, love encouragement, and friendship of other people.
Bethany Lutheran Church is a place where you can rest if you are weary. It is a place of healing and concern for those with special needs. Bethany is a place where we recognize that all people struggle with life and all of us need the love, mercy and forgiveness that comes freely from God. We want to share with one another the struggles and joy of life. Most of all, we understand that Jesus wants all people to be saved in the forgiveness provided on the cross. We strive to be “An Intimate Caring Community,” one that Jesus could have called his home away from home.