Good morning everyone:

Remember January 1st? How are the New Year’s resolutions coming along? Maybe you set a goal of losing weight, exercising more, spending time with family, enrolling in a class, or taking up a new hobby or musical instrument. It’s fun to dream and set goals, but then reality sets in. It’s not as easy as you imagined to keep at it everyday. Unforeseen obstacles cropped up. Your march toward the goal stalled or you backtracked and gave up. We’ve all been there. What we need is the determination which says, “There’s no turning back!”

The same is true for our lives as children of God. We want to live for Him. We love the Lord and we want to demonstrate it. But it’s often harder than we anticipated. There always seem to be distractions which get in the way of seeking first the kingdom of God. The prospect of embarrassment or losing friends or missing out on something “fun” for Jesus’ sake becomes a major obstacle in our path. As Paul said: “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Rom. 7:18). What we need is determination to say, “There’s no turning back!”

Where do we get it? Left to ourselves, we would quickly give up. Yet the determination we need is not an impossibility. It is as close as the Lord’s Word. In the selfless, single-minded determination of Christ we receive the strength of faith we need to trust Him and live for Him. Scripture tells us that, “When the time had come for Him to be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk. 9:51). Jesus was determined to continue on the path set out for Him, even though He knew it would led to His death. On Palm Sunday He entered Jerusalem knowing that in a matter of days He would be crucified. His love for the world was so great that for Him, there was no turning back. He was determined to carry out His saving work to the very end, that we might not die, but have eternal life with Him.

When the path of your faith-life seems hard, maybe even hopeless, and you’re tempted to turn back from following the Lord, recall again all that Jesus did and the victory He won and has given to you. In Jesus, Paul says, you are already more than a conqueror! Why then would you ever want to turn back? Rather, count on the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament for the strength and determination you need for each step of the way. The Lord who died for you won’t let you down.

Tomorrow we will remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, not only as the King of kings, but our King and Savior. The day school children will sing in first service.

The public school confirmation class will meet at 12:15 p.m.

Yours in Christ,


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