Good morning: It’s common advice, at least in movies. When someone wants to make a good impression, but is uncertain of what to say or do, the well-meaning friend says, “Just be yourself.” When you’re invited next door to watch the game, why not just be yourself? It sounds good. We want to be honest and genuine toward everyone. But the trouble is that we know ourselves better than anyone else does, and we don’t always like what we see. We’re no different than St. Paul who candidly admitted, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Rom. 7:18). Jesus says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery...theft, false testimony, slander” (Matt. 15:19). To just be ourselves before other people and especially before God is to open ourselves up to justified accusations of sinful thoughts, words, and actions. Who would do that? But that is exactly what the Lord wants us to do. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:8-9). By nature we are enemies of God deserving of eternal death. Our sin is obvious and inescapable. But Jesus came to make us new people. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17). “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). Joined to Jesus by faith, we are new people. Once dead, now we are alive. Once enemies of God, now we are beloved children. Once held hostage by Satan, now we are free to live for Him who paid the price for our redemption on the cross. Whatever is on today’s calendar, wherever you may be heading, and no matter who will be with you, just be yourself, that new self in Jesus. Yours in His name, Pastor Service times tomorrow are 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday school is at 9:15 a.m. and adult Bible class begins at 9:30 a.m. The children will be singing in first service. Voters, please remember the quarterly meeting which gets underway after second service. Agenda items include: time change for evening services, adoption of the 2022 calendar, a proposal to hire a part-time church assistant, election of bd. of trustees secretary, and setting our CLC offering estimate for the next fiscal year.