Good morning: “Rise and shine!” You crack an eyelid open as a cheery voice wakes you from a sound sleep. Do you feel much like “shining”? The room is cold, but it’s toasty and comfortable under the quilts. Maybe it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm for the day because of a mess you made yesterday which has to be cleaned up. You put off a responsibility that really should have been done. You got into an argument with someone at work or school and lost your temper. You ignored a family member who was having a rough day and didn’t offer any encouragement or help. What’s more, our country and the world are in shambles. Problems and suffering seem more insurmountable with each passing day. What is there to “rise and shine about?” If you have trouble seeing any reason to get out of bed with a smile, listen to Isaiah’s words: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you” (Is. 60:1-2). The Lord calls us to wake up to a brand new day filled with light and hope. Jesus came into the world to shine the light of God’s love into dark hearts. He came to substitute His perfect obedience for all the times we made a mess of things by our sin. He was obedient even to the point of dying on the cross to take away our guilt and punishment. He paid for the sins of all humankind once for all. By faith we have a spotless record before God and a glorious future to anticipate. In a joyful voice the Lord greets us this morning with, “Rise and shine!” The light of His grace and forgiveness is shining as brightly as ever. Let’s enjoy it and reflect Jesus’ light into the lives of everyone around us. He promises, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12). Yours in Christ, Pastor Services tomorrow are 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. Bible class is at 9:30 a.m. We continue our study of Luther’s Large Catechism. Here is the link for service signup: https://tinyurl.com/y2j5r8sn Signing up for the Sunday service by 6 p.m. Saturday is appreciated and helpful and a way of showing Christian love for one another. It gives the Elders and ushers an idea of how many people to prepare for. When you sign up you can also see how full the service will be, and if you wish, consider attending the other service. By signing up, you can easily be informed if that were advisable because of contact with someone at the service who later became ill. The governor’s mask order is still in effect for all indoor spaces, including churches. Masks are available in the entry if you forget yours.