Good morning: Bright sunshine, cobalt blue skies, flowers of every shape and hue, warm breezes bringing the smell of freshly mowed grass, and the sound of birds happily chirping in trees. There is so much of God’s creation for our eyes, ears, and other senses to take in and absorb during these summer days. Who would ever purposely close their eyes to avoid seeing all that’s around them? Would you wear earplugs so that you couldn’t hear the soothing sounds of nature? Yet that’s exactly what many people were doing in the days of Jesus’ ministry. He told His disciples, “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” (Matt. 13:15). God had given His people ears to hear Jesus’ warnings of sin and punishment. Their physical ears had taken in Jesus’ words promising forgiveness and peace through faith in Him. They had seen with their eyes Jesus’ miracles of healing affirming His identity as the Son of God. But they stubbornly refused to believe. They clamped their hands over the ears of their hearts. They kept their eyes tightly closed so that they wouldn’t recognize Jesus as their Savior. The brilliant glory of salvation was there to hear, see, and enjoy, but was lost to them by their own fault. What about us? Have we become so accustomed to the Gospel message that it goes in one ear and out the other without it ever reaching our hearts? Do we look right past the wonderful works Jesus carried out for us by His obedience and sacrifice on the cross as though they have no importance in our lives? There is only one way to sharpen our spiritual senses, and that is by going back to the Word. Pray that through it the Holy Spirit will open our ears to really “hear” in the fullest sense Jesus’ voice calling us to come to Him with all our burdens. Trust Him to give rest, joy, and new strength for life. As you read Scripture, may the Spirit open your eyes to “see” how deep, wide, and high God’s love for you is. May time in the Word today prepare us to see and hear the Lord in His house tomorrow. Yours in Christ, Pastor Our service tomorrow is at 9 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated. Help appreciated tomorrow after church: After the service tomorrow, we would like to distribute flyers in the immediate neighborhoods around church inviting families to join us for next Saturday evening’s Messiah block party. With a good number of volunteers, it won’t take long. Feel free to come to church in comfortable clothes for a little walking afterwards. It is hoped that the block party will prove to be a good way to get to know some of our neighbors in a casual setting and to offer information about our church and school. The activity committee, young adults, and others will be providing food, games, music, along with church and school tours. Everyone is welcome, so invite family and friends.