Good morning:

It’s been almost ten years since an elderly Spanish woman made international headlines, but not in a good way. Though well-intentioned, she ended up ruining a 19th century painting of Christ wearing a crown of thorns. She noticed some fading and flaking paint and decided that she could fix the painting. Her unskilled attempts with brush and paint ruined the historic work of art.

She is not the only one, however, who has tried to fix or improve the Savior’s appearance. Many have done far more damage, not to a physical painting, but to Christ and His Word. Some have tried to erase portions of the Word which don’t look good in the eyes of the world, such as God’s creation of the universe or Jesus’ virgin birth. Others try to add brush strokes of their own and claim that Jesus only accomplished part of our salvation, and that we need to do our part in order to receive eternal life.

When you look at the portrait of Jesus in the Word, do you think it could perhaps be improved upon? Do you second guess God when it comes to His direction of your life? Do you sometimes wonder whether His law is too strict and unbending? Does the gospel at times seem too easy on the sin of others?

The temptation can be strong to fix things to fit our ideas and plans. But then we need to remember that God alone is God. He only is holy, all-knowing, and above all, He is love. On the other hand, our natural hearts and minds by nature are dead in sin. Our perception is totally warped by sin. Our plans and ideas only lead to eternal death.

Rather than trying to fix Scripture’s picture of our Savior, may we instead spend time gazing at it in wonder and praising God for its perfection. Look at the sharp contrast between the black shadows of our sin and the brilliant glory of God’s love for humankind. See how Jesus’ face is looking directly at you with such intense love that He was willing to suffer death and hell for you.

With that picture in mind, may we gladly live for Him today and watch for ways to reflect His forgiving love into the lives of others. May we look forward to seeing and hearing Him tomorrow in our service and receiving all the blessings of His grace.

In His name,

Services tomorrow are 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. Sunday school is at 9:30 and adult Bible class at 9:45 a.m. The public school confirmation class meets at 12:15 p.m.

Remember to set clocks ahead one hour tonight for Daylight Saving Time.

Here is the link for service signup:

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.

COVID case: An individual who attended first service last week has been diagnosed with COVID. No one other than a family member was sitting in the same pew or an adjacent pew, and there were no conversations with anyone before or after the service. We pray that our fellow believer will have an uneventful recovery and soon feel better.
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